Ethical Dilemma Abortion

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Abortion is a controversial issue in the United States and internationally even when it is legalized. Though women in the United States are able to receive abortions nurses still have many concerns about the ethical issues surrounding abortion. One of the biggest ethical dilemmas is whether the nurse’s role as a caregiver extends to the fetus. This paper will explore the issues faced by nurses who believe they should care for the fetus. If the definition of a patient includes the fetus then providing abortions is contrary to the nurse’s role as caregiver; however, the mother is definitely a patient and must be cared for as well. It is the nurse’s responsibility to support the woman’s decision so that she may obtain an abortion safely. Nurses who put the life of the fetus first are allowed to refuse to participate in an abortion, but this may affect the way women receive nursing care.
Importance of the Right to Refuse
According to the American Nurses Association, nurses
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A woman who does not feel welcome or safe may not seek medical care, even if she decides to have an abortion. Some women "terminate their pregnancies by whatever means are available to them, even if it is against the law, unsafe, and might result in complications" (Oduro, 2014, p.920). This demonstrates the importance of respecting a patient 's autonomy, as the patient who has decided to end a pregnancy will do so without assistance if denied the right to do so safely with medical professionals. Though some may consider the fetus to be a patient it is the mother that is able to make decisions and who must be cared for as well. Shunning women asking for abortions "defies our very role as a nurse to prevent illness, promote and restore health and alleviate suffering" (Smyth, 2016, p.117) as it will cause the woman more distress and possibly have a negative effect on her
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