Principle Of Beneficence In Nursing

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The difficulty that may arise when addressing the principle of beneficence, lies in determining what exactly is “good” for another person, and who can best make that decision (Aiken, 2004). When determining whether or not an action is “good”, considerations must be made about outcomes and benefits, both present and future, and personal or communal, as well as rights and costs to the patient (financial, loss, etc.) (Ivanov and Oden, 2013). Sometimes the obligation of beneficence can conflict with respecting patient preferences and patient rights (autonomy). Some even say that patient autonomy should take precedence over beneficence, but this can be difficult to determine and should be considered on a case by case basis (Byrd and Winkelstein, 2014). This point can be illustrated using a clinical…show more content…
Examples of this include a nurse being frustrated with a non-cooperative patient so the nurse verbally threatens the patient, violently grabs or shakes the patient, or even hits the patient. Another example could be if a nurse is aware that a patient is experiencing severe pain, but the nurse does nothing to relieve the patient’s pain (Bužgová and Ivanová, 2011). Nurses have a moral obligation to avoid harm to a patient, and the patient is always the nurse’s primary obligation, so such actions are unacceptable (Westrick, 2014). An example of a nurse upholding the principle of nonmaleficence is when he or she seeks help for a patient who is exhibiting self-destructive behavior so that protective measures can be implemented to prevent harm to the patient (Westrick, 2014). Often times a patient may undergo a very painful and debilitating procedure to remove a cancerous growth to prolong life. This can be an example of how the principle of nonmaleficence is violated in the short run to produce a greater good in the long-term treatment of a patient (Aiken,

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