Focusing on patient autonomy as an ethical dilemma facing nurses, this paper looks at the case of a young girl who gets pregnant after a rape ordeal and who views abortion as her only solution and key to being happy again. …
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Performing an abortion in respect of the patient’s autonomy would be legally wrong for the reason that abortion is against the law, situation that will amount to professional misconduct as indicated by Botes. According to the nursing code of ethics, a patient has a right to make decisions on the choice of treatment, medical procedures and any form of care to be provided. It is the duty of every nurse to respect that right, hence, in this case disregarding the patient’s autonomy (wish to have an abortion done) may be regarded as unethical as stipulated in the nursing code of practice. Turning her away is no better than negligence in case she ends up executing her plans in the backstreet. Supposing the nurse was to turn away the patient and the patient then goes ahead to have the abortion unprofessionally done from illegal centers, then the nurse can be charged with negligence or medical malpractice if the patient suffers any harm.
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