Conscientious Response In Nursing

1084 Words 5 Pages
The NMBA (2016) standard 2.5 states that a nurse “advocates on behalf of people in a manner that respects the person’s autonomy and legal capacity” (p. 3). Therefore, a nurse who refuses to participate in a procedure due to conscientious objection is not advocating for their patient’s best interest, as they are placing their own needs above that of the patients. Stewart (2013) suggests that nurses need to make a conscientious commitment to support the rights of women to access health care, as when conscientious objection is badly handled, it threatens equitable access to safe care. Nurses enjoy the right to freedom of thought, religion and conscience, although their patients also have the right to access healthcare (Stewart, 2013). Therefore, …show more content…
Therefore, when nurses refuse to participate or provide treatment to patients due to conscientious objection, this places an unfair burden on their colleagues to pick up the extra workload. A discussion into patient care responsibilities need to be undertaken in order to adequately redistribute the workload when these issues arise (Lachman, 2014). Levi (2015) states that nurses need to be upfront with their patients and colleagues about their own biases when they take responsibility for the well-being of their patient. At the same time a nurse must ensure the choices of the patient are supported, even when they would not make the same choice for themselves (Levi, 2015). The NMBA (2016) standard 6.1 states that a nurse “provides comprehensive safe, quality practice to achieve agreed goals and outcomes that are responsive to the nursing needs of people” (p. 4). Therefore, if a nurse was to refuse to participate in a procedure that was part of a patients care plan and referred this role onto another nurse, they would be failing to provide comprehensive safe and quality care which is vital for a patient to achieve positive outcomes and could delay patient …show more content…
For example, in Sweden, Finland and Iceland, healthcare professionals (HCP) in the public system are not permitted to refuse to perform a legal medical service due to conscientious objection, as it is deemed to be part of their professional duties. This model is workable and beneficial within the healthcare system, as it facilitates access to reproductive health services by reducing barriers and delays. It promotes the prioritisation of evidence-based medicine, rational arguments and democratic laws over faith-based refusals of care. The disallowing of conscientious objection protects the basic human rights of women, as it avoids discrimination and harms to health; and holds HCPs accountable for their professional obligations to their patients (Chavkin, Leitman & Polin, 2013; Fiala et al.,

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