An ethical dilemma occurs when there is a conflict between two sets of human values, both of which are judged to be good but both of which cannot be fully served.
There may be no solution to an ethical dilemma, merely points of view that resolve the balance of values in different ways for different people.
There may be may two main perspectives in approaching an ethical dilemma:
- the "justice perspective," based on principles;
- the "care perspective," based on relationship.
Briggs M et al. A handbook of healthcare ethics and institutional ethics for staff in healthcare institutions. Edmonton. The Bioethics Centre. 1994. p. A:9.