Ethics in Nursing Essay

Ethics in Nursing Essay

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Deontology vs. Utilitarianism
Deontology is an ethical theory concerned with duties and rights. The founder of deontological ethics was a German philosopher named Immanuel Kant. Kant’s deontological perspective implies people are sensitive to moral duties that require or prohibit certain behaviors, irrespective of the consequences (Tanner, Medin, & Iliev, 2008). The main focus of deontology is duty: deontology is derived from the Greek word deon, meaning duty. A duty is morally mandated action, for instance, the duty never to lie and always to keep your word. Based on Kant, even when individuals do not want to act on duty they are ethically obligated to do so (Rich, 2008).
Kant believed consequences were irrelevant and an individual should do as they please at that very moment in time. An example would be a person went to their neighbor’s home while they were gone to turn on the heater so when they returned home it was warm. A consequence to turning on their heater is their house burned down, but according to Kant, since your intentions were good you cannot be at fault. Kant also believed each person has dignity and not to treat others as a means, to one’s personals ends (Rich, 2008). In other words, do not treat others as an instrument to achieve a goal. For example, a researcher that is risking the well-being of an individual participating in an experiment for the sake of finding a drug that may save many lives.
Kant made a distinction between two types of duties which are hypothetical imperatives and categorical imperatives. Hypothetical imperatives are rules or duties people ought to observe if certain ends are to be achieved. Hypothetical imperatives are sometimes called “if-then” imperatives, which are condit...


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...tes that fall under claim rights with the exceptions for health care liberty rights (Butts, 2008). Social Federal and state programs will help ensure that their claims will be fulfilled and preserved (Butts, 2008). To put welfare rights into more of a perspective I will provide an example. A woman comes into the emergency room and she is without a doubt in active labor. Even though she does not have medical insurance, the triage nurse will admit her. Here, the hospital has a duty to treat her until delivery of the child is completed.
In brief, welfare rights and liberty rights are very important to the nursing profession. As nurses, our duty is to protect the moral rights of our patients always. With liberty rights it is our duty to protect our client’s life, and with welfare right is our duty to rescue our clients from potential dangers or even death.


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