The Importance Of Ethics In Nursing Care
It is vital for nurses to follow the code of ethics while implementing daily nursing care. According to Catalano, ethics are “declarations of what is right or wrong and of what ought to be” (Catalano, 2009). Autonomy and nonmaleficence are some of the ethical principles that discourage euthanasia. Autonomy is the patient’s right to make health care decisions for him or herself. However, autonomy is with limits when it interferes with another individual’s right or well-being. Although, patients have the right to choose their time of death, it is not suitable to a registered nurse to support or assist with the death of another human being. If a patient decides to die, it does not diminish the value of life. Most patients decide to die because they may be depressed or going through some chronic pain. In such situations, the underlying causes of depression should be treated and modern palliative care can treat pain in virtually all conditions. Assisting with the death of a patient is prohibited in the nurse’ scope of practice hence, the patient’s choice to die interferes with the nurses’ work ethics. Therefore the nurse should not assist the patient to die through euthanasia methods (Catalano, 2009).
Nonmaleficence is that” health care professionals are to do no harm to their patients, either intentionally or unintentionally”. Also, health care providers are required to protect from harm for those who cannot protect themselves. Therefore, Registered nurses should not engage in any act that will harm the patient, even if it is the wish of the patient to die. If a nurse assist a patient to die regardless of the circumstance, then the nurse has harmed the patient, and it violates the ethics of nonmaleficence (Catalano,