Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper

Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper

Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper


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The nature of nursing means that nursing ethics tends to examine the ethics of caring rather than ‘curing’ by exploring the everyday interaction between the nurse and the person in care.[1][2] Early work to define ethics in nursing focused more on the virtues that would make a good nurse, which historically included loyalty to the physician, rather than the focus being on nurse’s conduct in relation to the person in the nurse’s care.[2] In recent times, the ethics of nursing has also shifted more towards the nurse’s obligation to respect the human rights and dignity of the patient and this is reflected in a number of professional codes for nurses,[3] such as in the latest code from the International Council of Nurses.Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper


Distinctive nature[edit]

Although much of nursing ethics can appear similar to medical ethics, there are some factors that differentiate it. Breier-Mackie[5] suggests that nurses’ focus on care and nurture, rather than cure of illness, results in a distinctive ethics. Furthermore, nursing ethics emphasizes the ethics of everyday practice rather than moral dilemmas.[2]Nursing ethics is more concerned with developing the caring relationship than broader principles, such as beneficence and justice.[6] For example, a concern to promote beneficence may be expressed in traditional medical ethics by the exercise of paternalism, where the health professional makes a decision based upon a perspective of acting in the patient’s best interests. However, it is argued by some that this approach acts against person-centred values found in nursing ethics Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper

The distinction can be examined from different theoretical angles. Despite the move toward more deontologicalthemes by some, there continues to be an interest in virtue ethics[8] in nursing ethics and some support for an ethic of care.[6] This is considered by its advocates to emphasise relationships over abstract principles and therefore to reflect the caring relationship in nursing more accurately than other ethical views. Themes that emphasize the dignity of the patient by promoting a respectful and caring attitude from nurses are also commonly seen.Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper

Some themes in nursing ethics[edit]

Nurses seek to defend the dignity of those in their care.[9] Being able to respond to the vulnerability of patients in a way that provides dignifying care is a key concept in the field.[10]

In terms of standard ethical theory, respecting dignity can also be aligned with having a respect for people and their autonomous choices. People are then enabled to make decisions about their own treatment. Amongst other things this grounds the practice of informed consent that should be respected by the nurse,[7] although much of the debate lies in the discussion of cases where people are unable to make choices about their own treatment due to being incapacitated or having a mental illness that affects their judgement. A suggested way to maintain autonomy is for the person to write an advance directive, outlining how they wish to be treated in the event of their inability to make an informed choice, thus avoiding unwarranted paternalism.Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper

Another theme is confidentiality and this is an important principle in many nursing ethical codes. This is where information about the person is only shared with others after permission of the person, unless it is felt that the information must be shared to comply with a higher duty such as preserving life.[7] Related to information giving is the debate relating to truth telling in interactions with the person in care. There is a balance between people having the information required to make an autonomous decision and, on the other hand, not being unnecessarily distressed by the truth. Generally the balance is in favour of truth telling due to respect for autonomy, but sometimes people will ask not to be told, or may lack the capacity to understand the implications.[11] Finally, the role of empirical ethics has become prominent in recent years.Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper

An ethical dilemma is defined as a mental state when the nurse has to make a choice between the options and choices that he or she has at her disposal. The choice is a crucial task as the opting of the step will subsequently determine the health status of the concerned patient, hence it requires a great deal of wisdom along with proper medical and health training before any such step is opted as it is a matter of life and death. Strong emphasis should therefore be on the acquisition of proper knowledge and skills so that nurses do posses the autonomy to interact with patients regarding ethical issues involved in health care affairs and address them efficiently.Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper   It is normally argued that nurses are not provided sufficient authority to consult and address their patients on a more communicative or interactive level as a result of which they are often trapped in predicaments where their treatments of action and their personal beliefs create a conflict with the health interests of the patient. (Timby, 2008) Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper   Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper
In critical and complicating medical cases, family members often find it tedious to decide as to what mode or procedure of treatment is idyllic for the recovery of their patient. In such cases, well-qualified and medically educated can play a pivotal role in deciding the kind of treatment that should be given to the patient to enhance its recovery. In a contrary situation a nurse may know that administering a particular drug may improve the patient’s condition, but may be refrained from conducting the required action due to doctor’s absence or non-permission. There are numerous cases through which ethical dilemmas in the profession of nursing can be discussed. Nurses in order to remain within the defined boundaries …Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper

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…l dilemma at organizational level and nurses are forced to abide to it.
I personally feel that the life of a person is well above all policies and regulations and if an attempt to rescue him or her from death at the right time remains unfulfilled, it is not the failure of a doctor or nurse, it is the failure of the entire medical and health community. Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper

Davis J. Anne Diane Marsha and Aroskar A. Mila (2010). Ethical Dilemmas and Nursing Practice. Pearson
Barnett, Wilson J.(1986). Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing. Journal of Medical Ethics. Retrieved on 12th July 2010 from  Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper
Fry T. Sara Veatch and M. Robert (2006 ). Case Studies in Nursing Ethics Jones and Barlett Learning
Timby, Kuhn Barbra (2008). Fundamental Nursing Skills and Concepts. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins  Nursing Ethics Case Study Paper


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