Ethical Decision-Making Matrix

Points Steps Key Considerations
0 Step one: Review the situation Identify patient, pertinent health problems, and key individuals involved
10 Step two:  Gather additional information to clarify the situation Demographic data, health status and patient prognosis, patient’s level of understanding and knowledge, competence,

Knowledge and understanding of significant others involved with the patient and his care

25 Step three: identify the ethical issues in the situation


·         quality versus quantity of life

·         freedom versus control of prevention of harm

·         truth telling versus deception

·         desire for knowledge or opposition to religious, ideological, political, economic interests

·         conventional scientifically based versus complementary/alternative therapy


Ethical principle issues: Apply ethic principle(s) to situation

·         autonomy

·         beneficence

·         Nonmaleficence

·         Veracity

·         Confidentiality

·         Fidelity

·         Justice


25 Step four: define personal and professional moral values Clarify personal and professional values relevant to ethical issues identified in step three
15 Step five: Identify the moral position of key individuals involved Clarify moral positions of all stakeholders involved with the situation to guide further discussion on solution/alternatives and potential actions based on them


20 Step six: Identify range of actions with anticipated outcomes Discuss the consequences, utility of the action(s) and ask/answer the questions:

What happens if I did this? What would happen if I do not do this?

5 APA style and format (either 5 or 0 are the potential scores to be achieved) Title page, headers correct, references page, correct citations and grammar throughout.

Thompson, J. & Thompson, H. (1985).  Bioethical decision making for nurses. East Norwalk, CN: Appleton-Century Crofts.


See next page (2) for instructions

Ethical Decision-Making Assignment: (20% of final grade)


This assignment is to be a professionally written reflection of your thoughts and ideas following the viewing of BEING MORTAL.

Please identify one patient scenario from the documentary BEING MORTAL that was of particular interest to you. Use the modified Ethical Decision-Making Matrix provided as a guide to your paper content. Each step is to be clearly presented/discussed in the paper.

The paper is to be four to six pages (excluding the title and reference pages) in length. Papers with less than 4 pages or more than 6 content pages will not be accepted for grading (excluding title and reference pages). Please submit your paper as a WORD document (other formats will not be accepted).

The paper must be supported by a minimum of three professional references (textbook or peer-reviewed articles) to support your opinions regarding ethical issues and decision-making. The reference to the Frontline Documentary: Being Mortal is to be excluded from your three required references. Proper APA format and style is required. As this assignment is a self-reflection the use of the first-person pronouns is acceptable.


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