Ethical Communications. Module 5 Critical and Creative Thinking

Ethical Communications. Module 5 Critical and Creative Thinking

Ethical Communications. Module 5 Critical and Creative Thinking 150 150 Peter

Ethical Communications. Module 5 Critical and Creative Thinking

Think of a time when you were faced with an unethical communication situation. Describe the
situation. How did you respond? What was the outcome? If you could face that situation again,
what would you do differently and why?
1. Write a 3-4-page paper in APA format.
2. Use one or more articles or credible sources from the CSU Global Library to support your ideas, assertions, and claims,
3. Adhere to the guidelines in the CSU Global Writing Center 2 .

Sample Paper

Unethical Communications

Unethical communication refers to any form of communication that tends to encourage social immorality or undermine relationships. It is vital for healthcare organizations to be built on a culture that supports ethical communication. Ethical communication tends to build positive relationships, while on the other hand, unethical communication impairs relationships. Communication that is unethical contributes to prejudices or ignorance. In a healthcare setting, unethical communication tends to exploit the patient and other healthcare stakeholders through misinformation (Howick, 2021). There are different types of unethical communication which include coercive, deceptive, destructive, intrusive, and manipulative-exploitative. This paper discusses a time when I was faced with an unethical communication situation.

Description of the Situation

One of the times when I was faced with an unethical communication situation was when I was administering care to a Jehovah’s Witness patient. The patient’s condition required her to undergo the blood transfusion procedure. On the day of performing the blood transfusion procedure, I had a long talk with the client where I encouraged her and assured her that everything would go as planned and that there was no need for her to worry. The patient was a bit fragile and was not in a good position to make an informed decision. Despite that, I did not contact the family members who used to visit the patient in the evening as they were all working. After we had completed the blood transfusion procedure, the patient’s relatives (the mother and husband of the patient) came that evening, and I informed them that we had done a blood transfusion. The relatives started yelling at me, asking why I had done that and informed me that their religion does not allow blood transfusion. The relatives were so angered by my actions and started to use abusive words while talking to me. Due to the pressure that I was receiving from the relatives, I lied to them that the patient had agreed to have the procedure. This situation made me think to myself that the communication I held with the patient before I started the blood transfusion procedure was a form of coercive unethical communication. Coercive unethical communication refers to communication events that tend to reflect abuse of power, leading to unjustified invasion of autonomy. This is because despite encouraging the patient to undertake the procedure, I failed to ask important questions and withheld information that could have helped the patient make an informed decision. I used my power to make the decision for the patient, which was not acceptable. I should have asked the patient if she was okay with the procedure and whether her religion was against blood transfusion procedures. I should also have consulted with the relatives considering her health condition, which prevented her from making an informed decision. Lying to the relatives that the patient had agreed to undertake the procedure willingly was also a form of unethical communication. This situation also involved unethical communication considering that the patient’s relatives, after I informed them about the procedure, they started using abusive words. I think there was a better way of communicating. They portrayed destructive unethical communication. This is a form of communication event that aims to attack the receiver’s reputation, self-esteem, and basic values. Destructive unethical communication involves insults, epithets, and jokes that attack a person’s sex, gender, race, and religion (Butts, & Rich, 2019).

How I Responded

I responded by apologizing to the relatives for not consulting them before proceeding with the blood transfusion procedure. I acknowledged I was wrong because considering that the patient was not able to make critical decisions regarding her treatment it was my responsibility to consult the relatives. I also accepted that I made the mistake of not asking the patient about her religion because some religions are against blood transfusion, like Jehovah’s Witness. People from the Jehovah’s Witness church believe that it is against the will of God to receive blood, and hence they refuse the act in most cases, even if it is their blood (Conti, Capasso, Casella, Fedeli, Salzano, Policino, & Delbon, 2018). I also responded by explaining to the relatives that as a nurse, I also believed that blood transfusion was necessary in the case of the patient. Although the mistake had already happened, I went ahead and educated the relatives about the risks and the complication that could have developed if the patient had not undergone through the blood transfusion procedure. I informed the relatives that every action I undertook was in the patient’s best interest. Several elements should be considered when trying to determine what a person’s best interests are. One of the factors to consider is determining if it is safe to wait until the patient can give consent. In this case, it was not safe.


The outcome of the situation was both good and bad. The patient responded well, and her health started to improve after the blood transfusion. On the other hand, after the incident, I was summoned by the head of our department to explain why I had not taken all the necessary precautions to obtain the patient’s consent before administering the procedure. Therefore, I had to write an apology letter to the patient and her relatives seeking forgiveness and assuring them that such an act would not happen again because it is against the culture of the health organization, and it also affects the organization’s reputation.

What I would do differently

If I were in that situation again, one of the things that I would do differently is to understand the culture and religion of a patient to know whether it allows blood transfusion. This would help me to know if I should proceed with the procedure or not. Understanding and respecting the culture and religion of the patient will make the patient trust the services that I offer, and it will also help build a good patient relationship with the patient. A good-patient relationship helps improve the health outcome of a patient (Mathew-Geevarughese, Corzo, & Figuracion, 2019). Another thing that I would do differently is consulting the relatives or next of kin of the patient if the patient is not able to make an informed decision or lacks the capacity to make decisions regarding his/her treatment procedures. If I were in the same situation again, I would also not lie to the patient or the relatives because that can affect my reputation and the reputation of the health organization; instead, I would explain to the patient and any other concerned party the reason for my actions.



Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2019). Nursing ethics. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Conti, A., Capasso, E., Casella, C., Fedeli, P., Salzano, F. A., Policino, F., … & Delbon, P. (2018). Blood transfusion in children: the refusal of Jehovah’s Witness parents’. Open Medicine13(1), 101-104.

Feo, R., Conroy, T., Jangland, E., Muntlin Athlin, Å., Brovall, M., Parr, J., … & Kitson, A. (2018). Towards a standardised definition for fundamental care: a modified Delphi study. Journal of clinical nursing27(11-12), 2285-2299.

Howick, J. (2021). Unethical informed consent caused by overlooking poorly measured nocebo effects. Journal of medical ethics47(9), 590-594.

Mathew-Geevarughese, S. E., Corzo, O., & Figuracion, E. (2019). Cultural, religious, and spiritual issues in palliative care. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice46(3), 399-413.