Nursing Ethical Dilemmas

Decent Essays
The Nursing Code of Ethics and When “Doing Good” May Cause Harm “An ethical dilemma is a situation in which an individual is compelled to choose between two actions that will affect the welfare of a sentient being, and both actions are reasonably justified as being good, neither action is readily justified as being good.” (Butss & Rick, 2012) Nurses can face ethical dilemmas everyday within their practice. Canadian Nurses Association [CAN](2008) states when nurses are in the situation of an ethical dilemma it is important that they utilize their code of ethics to guide them in their decision making process. In this case study a nurse was sick and choose to continue to work even though she was not well because the ward needed the nurses to …show more content…
Papastavrou, Andreou, and Vryonides (2014) stated in their article that many of nursing’s professional and ethical principles are compromised due to the fact that nurses are obligated to concentrate their efforts and work on medical related care not really what is best for the patient. The nurses are really not doing anyone good by remaining at work and increasing the risk of infection for patients as well as the rest of the health care team. “Only in specific circumstances are nurses responsible for patients and clients, but in all circumstances they are responsible to them, which is important to understanding care at any level” (Tshudin, 2013). This quote from Tshudin (2013) suggests that nurses are responsible to their patient, responsible to do good for the patient. If the nurses are sick in this situation they are responsible to do good and not work with their patients. In chapter 8 of the “Ethics and Issues in Contemporary Nursing” Burkhardt, Nathaniel, & Walton (2014) discuss the legal issues related to nursing practice. They discuss the concept of duty to care as an obligation by nurses as professionals to care for their patients while ensuring they avoid harm to the patient and do good for the patient. In the clinical scenario presented …show more content…
The nurses in this case study are practicing care that is not ethical, or that can be challenged ethically. Therefore they are violating the code that they must abide by, the nurses in this clinical scenario are compromising being faithful to the code and to the patients by working with them when they are not competent. They are not competent because they are sick and putting them in harm’s way as well they are under the influence of anti-histamines, which could compromise their judgment.
Justice
In this case study nurses are not breaching the ethical principle of justice, the nurses in this case are treating all patients fairly. They would all be receiving the same type of care while the nurse is working while sick or under the influence of medications. Justice is more of an ethical principle that could be measured by the fairness in the treatment in all patients.
Providing Safe, Compassionate, Competent, and Ethical

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