core of the ethical dilemma: –
The scenario that we have
encountered raises many flags and drags a lot of attention towards a possible
case of child abuse. Thus, this makes us standing in front of a real ethical
dilemma. This Ethical dilemma many has two arms in which each arm stands for a
major ethical principle. The first arm is presented by “beneficence” which is
the choice of the doctor to report the case to the authorized personnel for
further evaluation to protect the child’s right and deliver the greater good to
the patient. And The second arm, presented by “confidentially “, which is the
obligation of the doctor to withhold the patient’s information in order to
protect their privacy.
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So, in the current case the ethical
dilemma is: should the doctor report this case to the child care services or make
the choice of saving patient’s privacy. This is a cornerstone question that
faces every health care worker if they have faced a similar case in their daily
relative factors and analyzing the ethical dilemma: –
Ø Relative Factors: –
According to the child welfare organization, which is part of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, there are some factors that
contributes to child abuse:
factors: like individual factors such as
personality disorders, drug abuse and teen parenting)
factors: such as age of the child (the younger the more prone to be abused), or
if the child has disabilities or special needs.
factors: living in an overly crowded house, marital problems.
and environmental factors: such as poverty, bad neighborhood.
of abuse: Which means that if the type of abuse is easily committed, like
neglect for example, the children will have a greater risk to be abused and
greater risk for the act of abuse to be repeated.
In a closer glance to our case, this child had multiple risks that
promote him to be abused, like his age, living in very crowded home and
parent’s socioeconomic status.
Ø Analysis of laws in UAE: –
According to UAE laws regarding child abuse and care, also know as
Law No.3 of 2016, formerly called “Wadeema’s Law”:
Child has the right to be safe, to be enrolled in a proper education and to
have a proper name that is appropriate and not insulting.
are not allowed t expose their children to any physical, sexual or emotional
damage regardless of the outcome of this act.
cannot neglect their child if there is any disability or special need.
labour is prohibited, selling cigarettes or liquor to them is also not allowed.
cannot be engaged in acts of pornography.
of any rule of the mentioned above will result in fine up to imprisonment.
any case of child abuse or neglect is the responsibility of every citizen,
resident or vistor.
Ø Religious and cultural limits: –
Whether Islam, which is the main
official religion of the UAE, or UAE culture and heritage, both have very clear
instructions that directs people mentality and meditate towards protecting
children and raising them in a very respectful and safe environment.
List of options/ clinical
Having all the
principals, laws and factors we mentioned earlier, this leads us to develop a
list of option to deal with the current situation: –
The first option: To report the case immediately to the authorities. Not taking the
patient’s and his parent confidentiality into consideration.
The second option: To not report and respect patient confidentiality.
two options are the main options that our ethical dilemma spins around,
however; some other options can be considered as well, like not reporting right
now and further assess the parent’s needs for psychological or parenting