Nurses Must Ensure The Rights Of Freedom Of Thought, Religion And Conscience

1084 Words Oct 17th, 2016 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, to patient’s conscientious objection is deemed to be intrusive and interfering with their basic rights and liberties and has the potential to cause great harms, for example refusal of abortions in emergency situations may lead to severe injury or even death (Wester, 2015). Nurses must ensure that the needs of the patient are at the forefront of patient care, thus when a nurse feels unable to provide contraceptive or abortion care due to conscientious objection, they must ensure that this does not disadvantage the woman and ensure that she is referred to someone who will provide the care (Stewart, 2013).
Lachman (2014) articulates that equal distribution of workload is vital within a nursing team to ensure job satisfaction. Therefore,…

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