Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues - Essay Example

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The aim of this study is to examine the professional, ethical and legal issues of which a qualified nurse should consider when dealing with a patient’s dignity; to discuss social and cultural issues, confidentiality in respect of patients’ information. …
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Download file to see previous pages From this resaerch it is clear that there are quite a few healthcare practices that deprive the dignity of patients by treating them as ingenuous, dependent and inane beings. This transpires, despite the acceptance among nurses and doctors that patients are fundamentally human beings. Nursing practice has to recognise the fact that the law is of great significance. This has become all the more true, due to the unprecedented increase of court cases related to health care. The nurse – patient relationship becomes very clearly defined, when the nurse comprehends the relevance of the law to their practice. There are two types of legislation. Firstly, law based on precedent or previous decisions in cases with similar facts and made in the court is known as the common law. Secondly, the statutory law is primary legislation that has to be passed by both the Houses of Parliament. It has two divisions, namely the criminal and civil law. The civil law relates to cases where remuneration is sought, via pecuniary compensation. On the other hand, the criminal law addresses instances of harmful or disruptive behaviour or practices and the punishment inflicted is in general incarceration. Nurses should be well versed with such legislation, in order to evade liability in their professional role. This is because, under the law, healthcare professionals and workers are accountable for their actions during the course of providing medication or healthcare. They have to identify their limitations and powers with regard to the provision of health care and they should be aware of the existing health care legislations and local protocols. Healthcare professionals should know the provisions of the Care Standards Act of 2000, the Health Act of 2006, the Mental Capacity Act of 2005, and the Disability Act of 1998 (Barker & Randle, 2009). The Code (Nursing and Midwifery Council 2008) has stipulated in no uncertain terms that the individual registered nurses and midwives ‘are personally accountable for actions and omissions in practice’ (Scrivener, Hand, & Hooper 2011). In addition, the NMC Code specifies that nurses should ensure that they follow the latest procedures in their practice. As such, the Code exhorts nurses to learn throughout their career (The code: Standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives 2008). Moreover, spiritual care is a very important aspect of the nursing code of ethics in the UK. This is reiterated by the International Council of Nurses Code of Ethics for Nurses, which states that while providing care the nurse engenders an environment where in human rights, values, customs and spiritual beliefs are respected. As such, the NMC Code of Professional Conduct requires nurses to document and systematically assess the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of patients, clients and communities (McSherry & Ross 2010).The regulatory agency of the UK, with regard to nursing and midwifery is the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). Scenario1 In the first hypothetical scenario the patient is unconscious and has been diagnosed with permanent brain damage. The medical team, including the nurses and critical care nurses have taken a decision to withdraw treatment for this ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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