Ethical Problem Solving
You are a second-year nursing student. During the first year of the nursing program, you formed a close friendship with Susan, another nursing student, and the two of you spend many of your free evenings and weekends together doing fun things. The only thing that drives you a bit crazy about your friend is that she is incredibly messy. When you go to her home, you usually see dirty dishes piled in the sink, dog hair over all the furniture, clothing strewn all over the apartment, and uneaten pizza or other half spoiled food sitting on the floor. You attempt to limit your time at her apartment because it is so bothersome to you, so it has not been a factor in your friendship.
Today, when Susan and you are sitting at the dining table in your apartment, your current roommate tells you that she is unexpectedly vacating her lease at the end of the month. Susan becomes excited and shares that her lease will end at the end of this month as well and suggests how much fun it would be if the two of you could move in together. She immediately begins talking about when she could move in, where she would locate her furniture in the apartment, and where her dog might stay when the two of you are in clinical. Although you value Susan’s friendship and really enjoy the time you spend together, the idea of living with someone as untidy as Susan is not something you want to do. Unfortunately, your current lease does not preclude pets or subleases.
Question (learning exercise):
Decide how you will respond to Susan. Will you tell her the truth? Are your values regarding veracity stronger or weaker than your desire to cause no harm to Susan’s feelings (nonmaleficence)?
Select a formal problem-solving or decision-making model and
apply each step of the model to reach a decision about the best way to address the problem.
Provide a brief summary of the case. Be sure to apply an appropriate problem-solving/decision-making model. (Traditional Problem-Solving Process, Managerial Decision-Making Model, The Nursing Process, or the Integrated Ethical Problem-Solving Model) in determining what you should do.
Justify your decision with supporting evidence.
Ethical Problem Solving
The issue of ethics arises when a certain activity or scenario goes against the moral principles of a person or society. The question of morals and ethics will always come up as long as there are relationships with individuals and individuals (Sun et al., 2020). When these conflicts occur, it is important to develop good problem-solving solutions to ensure amicable decisions. In the case above, telling Susan the truth about her untidiness would hurt her feelings, and it would have the potential to destroy the friendship shared. To develop a good solution, the integrated problem-solving model will apply to help solve the complex issue.
There will be a systematic and collaborative approach to solving the issues using the problem-solving model. It will also help reach a consensus, remove the potential for divisions, and eliminate bias hence leading to objectivity; there will be consistency and make the process of decision making easier. The problem-solving model has six steps that will guide towards reaching an amicable solution.
The first step will be defining the problem, whereby I will seek the background of the issue and the implications. The process will make the matter clearer as more issues are found (Baker et al., 2020). The next step will entail determining the cause of the problem; for example, in the case given, choosing why Susan is so untidy would help understand her. The next step would be developing alternative solutions for the issue, for example, asking her to renew her lease, helping her in being tidy, talking to another friend to help, etc. The step will help in doing away with ineffective solutions.
The fourth step will be to develop the best solution that is the most feasible, favorable, and acceptable to Susan. The next step will entail implementing the solution that has been reached, and finally, the last step would be to evaluate the outcome of the decision. The answer would be to tell her about the prohibition of pets and subletting, ask her to renew her lease, and offer her indirect help to become a better person in terms of tidiness. Through this, everyone would be comfortable, and the friendship will be maintained.
Baker, L. R., & McNulty, J. K. (2020). The relationship problem solving (RePS) model: how partners influence one another to resolve relationship problems. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 24(1), 53-77. https://doi.org/10.1177/1088868319881243
Sun, C., Shute, V. J., Stewart, A., Yonehiro, J., Duran, N., & D’Mello, S. (2020). Towards a generalized competency model of collaborative problem solving. Computers & Education, 143, 103672. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2019.103672