What Is an Example of an Ethical Dilemma?

According to Everyday Health, one example of an ethical dilemma manifested itself during a 2013 survey of doctors. This study showed that 97 percent of doctors regularly prescribed placebos to their patients, procedures or medicines the doctor knew would not have an effect, but might psychologically reassure the patient.

Everyday Health explains that these placebo prescriptions included using antibiotics for viral infections and administering non-essential tests just to reassure a patient that the doctor was trying to work through their problem, even though there was no medical basis for administering them. The study showed that doctors clearly believe placebos can help patients, even though it is ethically questionable to prescribe something to an unwitting patient that does not know any better.