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Ethics - Research Paper Example

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Advanced Nursing Ethics and Values Name of Student A. Introduction Contemporary realities, such as diverse worldviews and technological and scientific progress, make it necessary for nurses to take into consideration the major ethical issues in their personal and professional lives…
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Download file to see previous pages These topics are applied to the case of Mrs. Z, who is diagnosed with breast cancer but refuses to take additional treatment and disclose her medical condition to her family. This paper analyzes the ethical dilemma inherent in the case and how can the healthcare team resolve this through the application of ethical theories and principles in nursing. B. Justify the Importance of Ethical Theory to Nursing The key role of theories is to provide individuals with a worldview or perspective which may guide them in identifying, describing, explaining, or predicting phenomenon or formulating measures which will facilitate the phenomenon. The competencies that nurses use in the process of ethical decision making are not enough to make appropriate and coherent ethical decision (Lachman, 2012). There are several theories that are drawn upon to help nurses resolve ethical dilemmas. Ethical theories take into account the purpose or motive of the nurse, the techniques exercised by the nurse to carry out the act, and the outcomes of the act. There are four ethical theories that are widely used in nursing practice, namely utilitarianism, deontology, virtue, and egoist (Fairchild, 2010). Utilitarianism is usually viewed as asserting that the decision-making process is based on the ‘greater good’. Deontology is rooted in the notion of duty. Nurses have a binding obligation to pursue acts that will benefit their patients. Virtue theory states that the motive of the individual making the ethical decision is what establishes whether or not the decision was ethical or good. If the purpose was good, then even though the result was bad, the decision would still be moral. And egoist theory promotes the concept of rational self-interest (Fairchild, 2010; Paganini & Egry, 2011). B.1. Provide one example that shows the importance of ethical theory as it applies to nursing practice Mrs. Z refuses to undergo life-preserving treatment and disclosure of her medical diagnosis to her family after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Dr. F and the nurse confront a typical ethical dilemma: they desire to prevent the perceived ‘harm’ of Mrs. Z’s condition. Nevertheless, they also desire to fulfill the ‘good’ of valuing the informed decision of the patient and prevent the ‘harm’ of violating her autonomy. In this case the process of ethical decision making will require analysis of similarly firm but contradictory ideas—respect for patient autonomy vs. the preservation of life. In this case the healthcare team may look at the deontological side of the situation to determine if their actions are in accordance to the rules and guidelines of their profession. On the other hand, virtue ethics will help determine if their actions are according to moral or good intention. C. Relate the Principle of Confidentiality to the Concept of Reasonable Limits Confidentiality is the obligation to protect and respect private information. The rule of confidentiality states that nurses should give respect to their patients’ privacy needs and use private details about them only to enhance their care (Longhi-Deshefy et al., 2004). Healthcare professionals must observe confidentiality to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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