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Essay On Ethical And Ethical Issues In Nursing

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Legal and Ethical Issues in Nursing
Ethics asses the values, morals, and principles of nurses. Legal codes or laws are rules established by our government. It’s important that nurses have a clear and comprehensive understanding of ethical and legal codes within their career. The understanding of these codes is essential for nurses to safely practice and to protect their patients. Nurses must abide by these principles or face the consequences of legal action. These principles include autonomy, utilitarianism, confidentiality, and many others. Autonomy is the agreement to respect ones right to determine a course of action, while utilitarianism is what is best for most people as defined in American Nurses Association. In order to give you a
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Another huge ethical topic is the patient’s right to choose autonomy in the refusal of life-saving medicine or treatment. This issue affects a nurse’s standards of care and code of ethics. “The nurse owes the patient a duty of care and must act in accordance with this duty at all times, by respecting and supporting the patient’s right to accept or decline treatment” (Volinsky). In order for a patient to be able make these types of decisions they must first be deemed competent. While the choice of patient’s to refuse life-saving treatment may go against nursing ethical codes and beliefs to attempt and coerce them to get treatment is trespass and would conclude in legal action. “….then refusal of these interventions may be regarded as inappropriate, but in the case of a patient with capacity, the patient must have the ultimate authority to decide” (Volinsky). While my values of the worth of life and importance of action may be different than others, as a nurse I have to learn to set that aside and follow all codes of ethics whether I have a dilemma with them or not. Sometimes with ethics there is no right or wrong, but as a nurse we have to figure out where to draw the line in some cases.

In conclusion, there are numerous legal and ethical issues apparent in the nursing practice. Nurses should study and be as informed as they can with ethics and legality within their field in order to ensure no mistakes occur. Ethical issues vary based on patient’s views, religion, and environment. Nurses are influenced by these same views, but most of the time they are not the same as the patients. As a nurse we must learn to put the care of our patients and their beliefs, rights, and wishes before our own personal
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