NR 328 RUA: Ethical Dilemma Assignment Solved

NR 328 RUA: Ethical Dilemma Assignment Solved

NR 328 RUA: Ethical Dilemma Assignment Solved

Include the following sections (detailed criteria listed below and in the Grading Rubric):
a. Introduction -10 points/10%
• Description of the dilemma is clear.
• Statistical significance to Pediatric nursing is included.
• Pro and con positions of the dilemma are presented.
• A brief fictional case is used to illustrate the dilemma.
b. Ethical Principles -20 points/20%
• Brief description of ethical principles (may cite textbook).
• Applicable ethical principle(s) to support the pro position are used.
• Applicable ethical principle(s) to support the con position are used.

Providing Contraception to Minors without Parents’ Knowledge

Minors are a sensitive population group considering that they are still developing emotionally, physically, and psychologically. Their age impedes them from making wise decisions as they struggle to develop a sense of self and adequately understand the world around them. Since minors do not understand their rights and health matters in precision, they need help from parents and health care providers. Accordingly, a significant proportion of the populace argues that minors should seek parental consent to be given contraceptives. It is a highly divisive issue connected to confidentiality and privacy matters. ACLU Pennsylvania (2021) reported that the percentage of adolescents confident to consult their parents before seeking care related to birth control is less than 20%. It implies that many issues have to be examined before providing or denying minors the right to contraceptives.

Sandra, a 17-year-old girl from Minnesota, has a 20-year-old boyfriend, Daniel Stephens. They are sexually active, and she decides to consult her mother on the best birth control method. However, her mother becomes harsh and uncooperative, prompting Sandra to continue using contraceptives without consulting her mother. At some point, Sandra develops complications from an overdose. Her mother knows and sues the physician prescribing contraceptives for acting without parental consent. On one end, the physician wants to protect Sandra from pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) risks. On the other end, legal issues are possible, and the health of minors can be risked. Such issues make contraceptives prescription to be an ethical dilemma. This paper discusses ethical principles, ANA Code of Ethics provisions related to the issue, and possible outcomes associated with denying and providing minors contraceptives without parental consent.

Ethical Principles

Nurses should make decisions guided by ethical principles of care. One of the ethical principles applicable to this

NR 328 RUA Ethical Dilemma Assignment Solved

NR 328 RUA Ethical Dilemma Assignment Solved

issue is beneficence. Haddad and Geiger (2020) described beneficence as the obligation to benefit patients or health consumers, based on promoting the welfare of other people. The other principle relevant to this issue is respect for autonomy. The independent decisions that health consumers and patients make should be respected. Respecting autonomy is acknowledging that every human being has a high value that should be upheld with high regard (Haddad & Geiger, 2020). Justice is also relevant in this case. Justice denotes providing equal opportunities and fair distribution of health outcomes across populations.

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Beneficence supports providing contraception to minors without their parents’ knowledge. From a health perspective, health care providers should offer services that are beneficial from a patient’s position. Brittain et al. (2018) noted providing friendly family planning services to teenagers encourages them to seek contraceptive services, including screening and consultation for STIs. Since denying minors contraceptives does not stop them from having sex, access should not be limited. The principle of autonomy supports restricting minors’ access to contraceptives without parental consent. Sawyer and Rosenberg (2020) posited that autonomous decisions in health care should be rational and do not apply to minors. In the same case, the underage has inadequate knowledge regarding birth control, implying that they can misuse contraceptives as described in Sandra’s hypothetical case.

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ANA Code of Ethics Provisions

Nursing involves protecting, promoting, and restoring health and well-being. As a practice encompassing the prevention of illnesses and injuries, the Code of Ethics provides a guide for nurses to refer to in ethical analysis and decision-making (American Nurses Association, n.d.). It contains values and ideals relevant to the practice. One of the appropriate provisions of the ANA Code of Ethics that apply to providing contraception to minors is the nurse’s primary commitment to the patient (provision 2), advocating for and protecting patients’ rights and health (provision 3), and making decisions with the obligation to promote health and provide optimal care (provision 4). These provisions include primacy to the patient’s interests, protecting the rights of privacy and confidentiality, and authority, accountability, and responsibility. When making decisions, these provisions guide nurses to examine the feasibility of parental consent and ensuring that the patient’s health is not risked irrespective of age. Accountability and responsibility ensure that nurses and other health care providers in a position to provide contraceptives are responsible for their judgments, and their decisions should comply with the generally accepted health care standards.

Outcomes and Plan

Requiring parental consent or overlooking its needs has varying impacts. If parental consent becomes mandatory, minors will improve their relationships with parents as far as birth control is concerned (Advocates for Youth, 2019). Health care providers prescribing contraceptives will also be shielded from legal and ethical consequences associated with contraception complications and misuse. On the other hand, providing contraception without parental contraceptives will encourage minors to be more centrally involved in their health matters. They will reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies and reduce the risk of STIs.

To make informed decisions related to contraception, it is important to use the resources available in the community to resolve the dilemma. The best-positioned resources are agencies promoting teens’ health, such as Healthy Teen Network and Advocates for Youth. These agencies provide information on the development of minors’ health and how to help them make wise decisions about their bodies and relationships. To solve this dilemma, minors should be open to parents and adults close to them to make smart decisions. Families should support minors and make joint decisions regarding contraception. Nurses should be available for consultation and provide advice and services that do not risk patients’ health or cause ethical or legal issues.

In conclusion, minors are a vulnerable population segment that should be protected from all health-related dangers. The issue of contraception without parental consent is divisive since decisions must balance opinions, legal position, and health impacts. Despite the controversy, the health of minors matters like other populations. They should be protected and supported, and health decisions should be in the interest of minors, their families, and public health.



ACLU Pennsylvania. (2021). “Do you have to tell my mum?” Minors, health care & the law.

Advocates for Youth. (2019, Sep 5). Abortion and parental involvement laws.

Sawyer, K., & Rosenberg, A. R. (2020). How should adolescent health decision-making authority be shared?. AMA Journal of Ethics22(5), 372-379.