Communitarian Ethics: Case Study

In the described case, Betty faces a challenging situation and needs to decide on whether to accept the offer to visit the hotel in Hawaii. The purpose of visiting is to watch the demonstration of beds to purchase for the hospital. In this controversial situation, it is recommended for Betty as the chief nursing officer to reject the offer and discuss the sale and purchase conditions referring to the demonstrations in the company’s office. The reason is that it is unethical for a chief nursing officer to accept such offers according to the principles of communitarian ethics (Butts & Rich, 2016). Betty is obliged to act on behalf of the interests of the hospital staff and patients instead of finding individual advantages in the hospital’s contracts with different companies. According to the ideas of communitarian ethics, the needs and values of the community should be prioritized, especially in cases related to nursing.

Furthermore, it is possible to regard the discussed situation as a conflict of interest because, after accepting the offer, Betty’s own interests and personal considerations will influence her decision. Addressing her own interests and trying to please the company providing her with the paid retreat time, Betty can act against the interests of the hospital. In order to avoid such situations, healthcare organizations should have strictly developed codes of ethics and policies to follow (McCoy et al., 2017; Pozgar, 2016). Thus, the situations involving the conflict of interest should be regulated at the administration level. Each hospital has similar policies in order to avoid the impact of third parties and individuals’ interests on organizations’ activities. Such policies affect everyday activities in hospitals because they contribute to creating an ethical environment.


Butts, J. B., & Rich, K. L. (2016). Nursing ethics: Across the curriculum and into practice (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning

McCoy, M. S., Carniol, M., Chockley, K., Urwin, J. W., Emanuel, E. J., & Schmidt, H. (2017). Conflicts of interest for patient-advocacy organizations. New England Journal of Medicine, 376(9), 880-885.

Pozgar, G. D. (2016). Legal and ethical issues for health professionals (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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