Nursing in a Legal and Ethical Environment in Australia- Part 2 Table of Contents I. Nursing Care- Key Ethical Considerations: South Africa 3 II. Nursing Care- Key Ethical Considerations: Australia 4 III. Comparison 5 References 7 I. Nursing Care- Key Ethical Considerations: South Africa The South African Nursing Council, acting within the bounds of the Nursing Act of 2005, came out with a draft document for a ‘Code of Ethics for Nursing Practitioners in South Africa’, with a version dated May 2013 available through its official website (South African Nursing Council, 2013)…
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This latter document also forms the basis of what the profession offers to the public, and thus also forms the basis of public expectations with regard to nursing services and how nurses are to conduct themselves in the course of their duties (South African Nursing Council, 2004). Looking at the two documents, one is able to piece together some of the key ethical considerations in nursing care in South Africa as being embodied in nursing responsibilities and duties as prescribed by the law, and as prescribed and monitored by the profession association. On the other hand, while it does this, it also goes back to fundamental principles that guide its ethical formulations, chief among them being South African conceptions of social justice, truthfulness, doing no harm, doing one’s best, being caring, being autonomous, and being giving and demonstrating genuine care. Its code of ethics is linked, moreover, to a set of fundamental values, chief among them the value of the life of a person, privacy, respect for others, right to care, truthfulness, and the maintenance of the integrity of the nursing profession (South African Nursing Council, 2013). On the other hand, there are views on nursing ethics in South Africa that go beyond the rules and law-based ethical considerations, and go deep into the culture to fish out ingrained ethical values relating to care and compassion for the sick. These are spirituality-based ethical considerations that are not strictly found in the rules-based Code of Ethics discussed above (Haegert, 2000). Meanwhile, the South African Ethics Code for Nursing also lists specific ethical dilemmas as also forming part of the primary ethical considerations that guide practice. They are included in the code of ethics by way of fleshing out what those are, recognizing the complex nature of the dilemmas, and providing avenues for discussing the merits of individual cases within the nursing community and with the critical supervision of the South African Nursing Council. Some ethical dilemma situations listed include euthanasia, and the early ending of pregnancies (South African Nursing Council, 2013). II. Nursing Care- Key Ethical Considerations: Australia The foundation of nursing ethics in Australia are the fundamental human rights laws that are observed and followed, as well as additional legislation that are geared towards securing the well-being, health and security of the general population, as well as the community of health care professionals that administer care. Moreover, there are national accreditation schemes and national organizations in place that complement the work done by the National Boards, or the associations of professionals for the different professions within the health care field, including nursing, that formulate the key ethical constructs and the guidelines and codes of behavior that in essence implicitly determine what the ethics of care for nursing in Australia are. Those ethical considerations flow from a concern for the rights of individuals and the observance of the laws relating to that. Moreover, the ethical considera
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