Nursing Code of Ethics

Satisfactory Essays
There are many different thoughts and beliefs surrounding ethics. Ethic codes of conduct are in place. Ethics has always existed but has been more closely looked at over the last 40 years. There is discussion about futile care to patients in intensive care settings and do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders for surgical patients. Guidelines and regulations need to be followed and set forth.

Patient Rights and Ethical Decisions


The purpose of this paper is to discuss nursing ethics. The paper will discuss: the history of ethics, definition, doctor/nurse being education about ethics in college, code of ethics, futile care and the confusion with DNR orders. Ethics needs to be recognized on all levels of healthcare such as doctors, nurses, patients and families. CINAHAL and PubMed search engines were utilized for . Many articles were presented with the initial search, expansion on keywords assisted in generating more specific articles.

Nursing ethics has a vast spectrum of subjects. The history of ethics was around way longer then the declaration of specific ethical issues. According to Fox, Myers and Pearlman (2007), the field of ethics consultation has been developing over the last three decades, (Kosnick 1974; Rosner 1985). Ethics has become an organized and accepted division of healthcare services. Gallagher (2010), discussed the purpose of nursing ethics is to help us think, speak and perform better in our practice. The Nursing Code of Ethics was addressed by Lachman (2009). “Futile care” is discussed by Sibbald, Downar, Hawryluck (2007). Ball (2009) addressed the need for clarification of DNR orders in surgery patients.


Ethical issues arise daily in the healthcare world. The manor in which issues are addressed vary. “There are, it might be said, as many histories of nursing ethics as there are individual ethicists and professional or cultural contexts” (Guildford 2010, p.1). “A code of ethics is a fundamental document for any profession. It provides a social contract with the society served, as well as ethical and legal guidance to all members of the profession” (Lachman 2009, p.55). According to Lachman, since the original ANA Code from 1950, the significance of service to others has been consistent. Two changes in the code have occurred since the original. First, not only the patient is being treated, but the family and community where they live are also considered.
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