Essay about Values

1340 Words Oct 7th, 2012 6 Pages
PERSONAL VALUES AND ETHICAL DECISION MAKING

Values
Ive worked many years and have never gave much thought to the decision that I’ve made, in fact during my lifetime Ive never considered the role that values plays in the decision making process. I assumed ageing was the reason for my increased decision making prowess. I was mistaken in my thinking just as I was mistaken in my views on the nursing profession.
Values are the beliefs that peoples in a society embrace. It guides their action, defines what is right or wrong, gives them something to strive for and generally makes them feel good about themselves when they adhere to them. Everyone has values, they don’t always conform to society’s norms but they are there and evolving
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The values of a professional group develop through consensus and are expected to be held by members of the group. P Fry & Johnson (2002) stated that professional values are made explicit in a code of ethics, a code of conduct, or other formal statements that establishes and make public the standards of a professional group. In 1953 the Internal Council of Nursing was established and congress accepted the code of Ethics for nurses worldwide.
The nurses’ code of ethics is a set of core nurses values established to provide guidance for nurses in their practice. I see a lot of my ethical decision being entrenched in the code of ethics. However I see more of this process being dictated by the principles of bioethics. In comparing the code of ethics with the principles of biomedical ethics I found bioethics principles to be clear concise and substantiated by evidence whereas the nursing code of ethics is ambiguous and perplexing. What the founders failed to take into consideration is that the defining characteristic of every human is their individuality, thus the nurses code of ethics can imply difference things to many peoples.
Sure it is called the nursing code of ethics, but what is ethics? Beauchamp & childress (2009) defines ethics as a generic term covering several different ways of examining and understanding the moral life. Can the code of ethics meet this criterion to be defined as a

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