Nursing Ethics Essay

965 Words Aug 15th, 2008 4 Pages
Ethics in Nursing


According to Aiken (2004) “Ethics is the discipline that deals with rightness and wrongness of actions”. The goal is similar to that of the legal system except that in most cases there is no system of enforcement or ethical penalties. “General ethics is the consideration of the morality of human acts in general”. (Fitzpatrick 2002) In nursing, ethical issues arise daily. There are issues such as death, dying, birth, abortion, genetics, quality of life, and general human rights. The legal system and ethical system overlap in most situations. Every patient contact can produce a legal or ethical situation. Ethics is an area that changes with time. As our earth continues to evolve new
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When you look at utilitarianism you will see that this ethical vision is for the greater good. Something is considered right if it offers the most positive effect on the greatest number of people. The advantage I see is that it odes take into account exigent circumstances in each situation, however 2 disadvantages I see is that it leaves issues up to human interpretation and it allows for occasionally individuals to be hurt. What is the best for the many may occasionally cause devastating effects on a few.

Conclusion I find appealing areas in each of these ethical views, however when asked which appeals the most to me, I would have to say utilitarianism. My rationale for this is I do believe that we should look at the greater good for all. I also know from my career in nursing as well as personal events in my life, sometimes it is okay to bend facts in order to save people. I do not mean save peoples life’s necessarily, however save peoples emotions and save people from excessive heartache and grief. Some simple examples might be to tell a family member that you are sure their loved one did not suffer in death, when you may believe otherwise or are unsure. Another example in personal life might be to spare someone negative information on another to spare heartache. Sometimes being absolute may not be the best road to take. As health care professionals daily we face ethical decisions and dilemmas, how we handle

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