Ethics in Nursing Essay

3283 Words Nov 22nd, 2013 14 Pages
Ethics in Nursing Practice, Values and Decision Making
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Abstract
Nurses work with a wide range of patients, and each patient presents their own economic, social and cultural differences. While nurses work to provide care for the sick, injured and dying, they are always working within the boundaries of their professional codes of ethics. The nursing code of ethics is more than laws and common etiquette, and upholding the code of ethics is understood and agreed upon by people in the nursing profession. The two kinds of ethical theories discussed most in nursing are consequentialist and nonconsequentialist theories. By examining these two theories, nurses are able to evaluate the principle of confidentiality and how
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Simply defined, ethics deals with what is morally right, and nurses work in environments which challenge their personal morals, or ethics, regularly. The code of ethics for nurses is more than an obligation to a patient; moreover, the code of ethics should be an expression of a nurses own understanding of his or her commitment to society (Nursing World, 2012).
To have a better understanding of their commitment to society, nurses must be familiar with consequentialist and nonconsequentialist ethical theories. The consequentialist (or utilitarianism) theory holds that “the question of right and wrong is fundamentally a matter of producing good consequences and avoiding evil consequences” (Fry, Veatch & Taylor, 2011). The nonconsequentialist (or deontological) theory contends that “right and wrong are determined by more than the likely consequences of an action” (Shaw, 2011).
Justice and care are always hot topics of discussion when debating ethical theory. Justice deals with fairness and treating patients equally; therefore, justice may be defined by some people as a nurse’s duty to provide equal health care services to every patient. On the other side is care which is all about connecting and building a relationship with a patient. Connecting allows a nurse to better understand the needs of his or her patients. It is common for care to be viewed by some people as the need for nurses to take a

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