Ethical Dilemma: A known drug addict comes to the ER asking
for pain medication for a back injury.

Trust the patient and ask
the Dr. to order medication.
Ignore the patient
because he is manipulating
the system.
If he is telling the truth,
you have acted to relieve
the patient's pain.
If he is lying, then you
have enabled a drug use.
He will probably
come back again.
You could be denying
someone with legitimate
You have not acted
within the professional
code of ethics for nurses.
He is taking up resources
that people who are actually
ill need.
This could adversely
affect your job/license.
The patient's pain could be
something more serious.
Failure to act could harm
the patient.
Other patients
could be affected.