Explain the difference between legal and ethical nursing practice.
Discussion: Examining Ethical Nursing-Practice.
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For this discussion you will be examining ethical nursing practice. In three to five paragraphs answer the following questions in apa format.
Define in your own words “ethical nursing practice.”
Describe the basis or framework you used for your definition.
Explain the difference between legal and ethical nursing practice.
Discuss one ethical or bioethical dilemma a nurse may encounter and describe how it could be handled.
Use the following reference:
Catalano, J. T. (2015). Nursing Now! Today’s Issues, Tomorrow’s Trends, 7th Edition.
Respond to the 2 postings below in 300 words
Discussion: Examining Ethical Nursing-Practice
To phrase it very simply and broadly, to me ethical nursing practice follows the following concepts: a nurse is ethically obligated to provide the best care within his or her abilities, one’s freedom ends where another’s begins, and treat others as you wish to be treated. These concepts are difficult to apply to real life situations in the healthcare field because they carry so much ambiguity. I feel these concepts tie in very nicely with the six principles of nursing mentioned in chapter 6 in Nursing Now! (Catalano, 2015). These six principles are simpler to apply to the healthcare field because they are less ambiguous.
Ethical nursing practice abides by all six of the principles of nursing: autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, justice, fidelity and veracity (Catalano, 2015). Autonomy is the principle that each client has the right make decisions on the what and how for their care (Catalano, 2015). Beneficence is the principle that every action is taken with the intention of improving the life of the client (Catalano, 2015). This is done through a holistic approach, including all factors in the clients life (Catalano, 2015). Nonmaleficence is the principle that no harm will be done (Catalano, 2015). This ethically obligates the nurse to prevent harm from coming to the client from their own hands, the nurse’s, or another’s. Justice is the principle that dictates equal care to all people (Catalano, 2015). Fidelity is the principle that entails honoring commitments and promises, to self and others (Catalano, 2015). Veracity is the principle that compels the nurse to always tell the truth (Catalano, 2015). It also provides the right to the client to know everything that has to do with their health and care (Catalano, 2015). These ethical principles provide a good foundation of framework for nurses.
“Nurse” comes from the latin word nutricius which means to nourish (Catalano, 2015). By definition it is a nurse’s job to nourish, encourage growth and health. If a nurse abides by the six principles he or she is better equipped to provide nourishment. While considering actions, a nurse must not only consider the ethical implication, but the legal implications as well. Legal and ethical principles are in place to allow humans to live peacefully together. Many legal regulations come from ethical principles, due to support from a majority of the population they become “law” (Catalano, 2015). For an ethical principle to become a law it must be enforceable by law enforcement officials and have equal application to the entire population (Catalano, 2015). Not all ethical principles meet these conditions, however, they are equally as important in promoting peaceful interactions and the survival of the species. Even though ethical principles are not enforced by our governments they are by licensure boards (Catalano, 2015). Nurses, and other health care providers, who repeatedly disregard ethical practice risk having their license revoked (Catalano, 2015).
One ethical dilemma a nurse could encounter would be a client demanding a treatment they feel is necessary but could in reality cause them harm or death. This would be an ethical dilemma because it would challenge nearly all the ethical principles of nursing: autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and veracity. Autonomy, because the client is requesting a treatment. Beneficence and nonmaleficence, because if the nurse provides the treatment as requested he or she knows it will cause harm. Veracity, because the nurse knows the treatment would be harmful and he or she is obligated to tell the client the truth. I feel the best solution to this dilemma would be to acknowledge the client’s request and very respectfully educate them on why that treatment could harm them and if possible provide them with information on another treatment. Hopefully on learning the truth the client would choose not to have the harmful treatment or would choose a treatment that would be beneficial.
Catalano, J.T. (2015). Nursing Now! Today’s Issues, Tomorrow’s Trends, 7th Edition. Retrieved from https://ambassadored.vitalsource.com/#/books/undef…
In my opinion “ethical nursing practice” is based on the knowledge learned and taught in school as well as the experiences gained while working as a nurse. Ethical nursing is when a nurse acknowledges and demonstrates essential aspects of good nursing. As a nurse you must obtain the ability to make ethical and sensible decisions based on the well being of your patient and the rights of the individual. This may also be based on the principles and protocols of your facility that provide a baseline of care to the patients.
Ethical nursing practice I believe is focused more on the morals and beliefs of the nurse. With this being said it is also based on how one feels and what an individual believes is right or wrong. Legal nursing practice is based more on the laws and procedures set forth by the State Board of nursing. These are strict rules established to define what is allowed and what is not. These laws are punishable if in the instance they are broken or abused.
One of the ethical dilemmas a nurse may face is disclosing medical information, diagnosis, conditions, or treatments to family members , friends, or even the patient. If they Dr instructs you not to speak on a diagnosis to family and/or the patient it is your responsibility and principle as a nurse to do what is ask of you by the Dr. However the nurses own moral values may come into play because one would consider that it is the patients right and/or family’s right to know the truth. When patients or family members ask the nurse for answers the nurse may instruct them to speak with their Dr about their concerns/cares as it is not something you may directly be informed about.
Catalano, J. (2015) Nursing Now! Today’s Issues, Tomorrow’s Trends. (7th ed.) Philadelphia; F.A. Davis.
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