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Defending Ethics Essay

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Introduction
Dignity is a complicated notion but a significance and viewpoint that is critical to nursing. Dignity is at the core of good nursing care. There have been several empirical studies that explored dignity an indignity in healthcare and these studies focused on the standpoints of patients and providers. Recently more attention has been place on the experiences and perspectives of nurses when conducting the studies. Most nurses have high levels of awareness of dignity and how to be sensitive to dignity related situations which combined with a concern in association to dignity defiance and the empowered commitment to dignified care makes room for ultimate ethical treatment (Calnan, Woolhead, & Dieppe, 2007). Health and social care laws and policies throughout America have emphasized the fostering of dignity in care. Several reports by research and media “watchdogs” have reported deficits in dignity during care which caused harm, distress and embarrassment to the patients. According to Calnan et al (2007), dignity can be defined as the way people behave, feel, and think regarding self-worth and the well-being of others. Respecting people as valued individuals and as if they are worthy is the best way to epitomize dignity. From the perspective of nurses, there are three ways to promote or demote dignity which are – the environment and organization’s culture; the way tasks are completed, and the attitudes of nurses and other providers. When dignity is being promoted in the workplace, patients feel comfortable and they make decisions easily; otherwise the patient will lack confidence and feel ashamed (Ray, 2006). Basically, respect for the patient’s dignity is highly ethical behavior and is very important for prac...


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...head, G., and Dieppe, P. (2007). Views on Dignity in Providing Healthcare for Older People. Nursing Times. 101(33), pp. 38 – 41.

Carter, P. (2008). Voices. Nursing Standard, 22(28), p. 26.

Matiti, M. and Cotrel-Gibbons, L. (2006). Patient Dignity – Promoting Good Practice Project. Foundation of Nursing Studies Dissemination Series, 3(5), pp. 1 – 4

McCarthy, J. and Deady, R. (2008). Moral Distress Reconsidered. Nursing Ethics, 15(2), pp. 254-262.

Ray, S. L. (2006). Whistle blowing and Organizational Ethics. Nursing Ethics, 13, pp.438 – 445.

Wainwright, P. and Gallagher, A. (2008). On Different Types of Dignity in Nursing Care: a Critique of Nordenfelt. Nursing Philosophy, 9 pp. 46-54.

Woolhead, G. Calnan, M. Dieppe, P., and Tadd, W. (2006). Dignity in Older age: What do Older People in the United Kingdom Think? Age and Ageing. 33(2), pp. 165 – 170.


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