Ethics Chapter_06 - 1

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Chapter 6 Ethics


Objectives Discuss the foundations of ethics and ethical practice in nursing. Describe and defend patient advocacy and the nurse’s role. Describe process for recognizing and resolving an ethical dilemma. 2

Basic Definitions:

Basic Definitions Ethics The study of conduct and character. It is concerned with determining what is good or valuable for individuals and society at large. Bioethics T he study of ethics within the field of health care. Values Personal beliefs about the worth of a given idea, attitude, custom, or object that set standards that influence behavior.

Ethical Principles:

Ethical Principles Autonomy Commitment to include patients in decisions Justice Being fair Nonmaleficence Avoidance of harm or hurt Beneficence Taking positive actions to help others Fidelity Agreement to keep promises

Codes of Ethics:

Codes of Ethics G uiding principles that all members of a profession accept Help professional groups settle questions about practice or behavior Include responsibility, accountability, respect for confidentiality, competency, judgment, and advocacy

Developing a Personal Point of View:

Developing a Personal Point of View An ethical dilemma exists when the right thing to do is not clear or when members of the health care team cannot agree on the right thing to do . Ethical dilemmas require negotiation of differing points of view. To understand the views of others, you must first clarify your own point of view.

Ethical Systems:

Ethical Systems Deontology: Defines actions as right or wrong Utilitarianism: Proposes that the value of something is determined by its usefulness Feminist Ethics: Focuses on the inequality between people Ethics of Care: Emphasizes the importance of understanding relationships, especially as they are revealed in personal narratives

How to Process an Ethical Dilemma:

How to Process an Ethical Dilemma Step 1: Ask if this is an ethical dilemma. Step 2: Gather all relevant information. Step 3: Clarify values. Step 4: Verbalize the problem. Step 5: Identify possible courses of action. Step 6: Negotiate a plan. Step 7: Evaluate the plan.

Ethical Issues in Nursing: End-of-life Issues:

Ethical Issues in Nursing: End-of-life Issues Y ou are assigned to care for a patient who is permanently disabled by a recent stroke, dependent on others for all his care, and unable to communicate meaningfully. During your shift, as you are providing nourishment by mouth, he begins to aspirate, coughing and sputtering. The physician suggests a gastrostomy tube to prevent aspiration . The tube would probably diminish the aspiration risks, but you find that you are concerned that it would prolong the life of a patient who has no hope for recovery. Is this an ethical dilemma?

Ethical Issues in Nursing: Cultural and Religious Sensitivity:

Ethical Issues in Nursing: Cultural and Religious Sensitivity Y ou are taking care of a 15-year-old girl, admitted for management of her leukemia. Her religious beliefs do not allow her to receive blood transfusions, yet her condition will soon require a blood transfusion to prevent harmful consequences. Her parents share her religious convictions but are willing to compromise. The 15-year-old refuses to compromise. Is this an ethical dilemma?

Ethical Issues in Nursing: Social Networking Online:

Ethical Issues in Nursing: Social Networking Online A Facebook site has been established for your work unit . It is used to post news about work-related classes, parties, and important social milestones like marriages. Y ou notice that a colleague has posted a message describing a “terrible shift” she had to endure, including some details about two nurses who called in sick and her increased patient load . You realize that since you have been “friended” by people outside the work area, these comments could also become visible to others who do not work on your unit, and who are not nurses . You want to support your fellow-nurses, but you worry that outsiders will have access to information that should remain private. Is this an ethical dilemma?

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