Components of Ethics - Assignment Example

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Components of Ethics Name: Professor: Institution: Course: Date: Ethics is a term that refers to the distinction between good and evil, the wrong and the right or virtue and vice in any human action. Ethics mainly deals with issues of morality and accounts for characteristics of people based on their morals…
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Components of Ethics Ethics is a term that refers to the distinction between good and evil, the wrong and the right or virtue and vice in any human action. Ethics mainly deals with issues of morality and accounts for characteristics of people based on their morals. Nursing is a profession that requires regulatory accountability in order to ensure efficiency. For instance, American Nursing Association (ANA) is the leading regulatory body for registered nurses in the United States. The body advocates for nurses’ rights as well as the welfare of patients and healthcare consumers. Such a body operates on a set code of ethics that should be followed by all members. The government as well has its set standards, rules and regulations that must be followed in nursing by nurses and all practitioners in the health sector. The major components of ethics identified in nursing are: autonomy, nonmaleficence, benevolence, and justice (Burkhart, 2008). Autonomy This component of ethics describes the right of an individual to make independent decisions about their lives. The involvement of others in the decision making process by the individual is not integrated into the component. The individual therefore stands a chance to make his or her decision without the influence of another person. The values and beliefs of an individual are upheld in this case. Having respect for an individual’s autonomy is critical to the requirements of the performance of nurses. Individuals should be well understood, and actions taken to aid autonomy processes should be tailored towards taking actions that actually show that such individuals are free to make their own choices (Mair, 2010). The action of not interfering is not the baseline for the functionality of autonomy. The main idea here surpasses an act of not interfering. Promoting autonomy is characteristic of improving the autonomous capacity of an individual. For example, it is ethical under autonomy to restore the thinking capacity of an individual after undergoing confusion. A patient has the right to decide whether to undergo a nursing or medical treatment. If the patient’s decision upon the subject is not observed then unethical issue arises under this component. Another example of an ethical practice under autonomy is the use of a patient as a research subject without his or her consent. Nonmaleficence This ethical principle requires that nurses cause no harm to the patient. This principle deals with four major cornerstones (Burkhart, 2008). The first one requires that no harm should be inflicted to the patients. All measures, rules and regulations should be followed in ensuring that the patient’s welfare is upheld. Secondly, harm should be preventing from occurring to the patient. Possible dangers and pains that expected to occur to the patient should be avoided by all means. The third cornerstone is that of removing harm. When the patient is already harmed or under pains, the nurses should work a way out for the patient. Finally, the fourth major consideration under nonmaleficence is that of promoting good. The welfare of the patients is a human right that ought to be observed by all health practitioners. Depriving the patients the “goods of life” is unethical under this principle. Offending, causing pain and suffering, incapacitating and intentional killing of patients is characteristic of denying the patients the good of life. This constitutes the unethical issues under nonmaleficence. There are instances in current times that nurses have denied patients proper treatment that is aimed at making their lives longer, for example intubation or even artificial feeding. Is such instances, the principle of nonmaleficence is not observed, thus violation of this particular ethic. Benevolence This is a principle of doing good to a person. It depicts obligatory actions or activities that provide other people with some good or benefits. In a nutshell, benevolence accounts for benefits and utility derived from the activities a given person. Benevolence provides an aspect of obligation between people that rarely have a bond. Morally dictates that positivity the positivity of benevolence is generally acceptable to the society. Special relationships are characteristic between patients and healthcare providers in the context of benevolence. These relationships are purposely meant to boost and improve the welfare of the patient, prior to the duties and the responsibilities of nurses among other healthcare services providers. When a patient cannot benefit from the obligations of a nurse or any other healthcare provider therein, this is considered unethical since the specific healthcare provider does not hold up to the requirements of professionalism and practice. Justice Fairness and equality are the pillars and strongholds of justice. In the light of nursing and healthcare services provision, justice is defined as the right to fair, equitable and appropriate treatment of healthcare consumer in relation to what is considered due and/or owed to them. Right to health care and associated services should be upheld for all individuals in the country. Equitability aspect of justice in health care is based on the access criteria available to the individuals seeking health care services. On the same note, making a government subsidized health care plan available to all is justice is this context. In the case of consumer-provider interaction, health care provider should know that each and every individual is entitled to good health (Burkhart, 2008). Any instance that violates this right constitutes an unethical practice. For example denying a patient medical treatment due to lack of necessary fees is unethical. Nurses among providers should acknowledge that the profit motive comes after the welfare of the patients. Reference Burkhart, M. A., & Nathaniel, A. K. (2008). Ethics issues in contemporary nursing (3rd ed.). Canada: Delmar Learning. Mair, J. (2010). Respect for autonomy; or the right to die? Health Information Journal, 39(1), 46-50. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database. Read More
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