The definition of benevolence is to maximize the overall good, to do no harm, and to allow an individual his liberty (Bandman, 2000). Carol Gilligan as well as Ida Jean Orlando has influenced much of what nursing is and in both cases, nursing is about caring.
Carol Gilligan as well as many of the other feminist theorists propose that traditional moral theory, principle, practice and policy " are deficient to the degree they lack, ignore, trivialize, or demonize values and virtues that are culturally associated with women " (Belnap, 2000). Although Gilligan admits that all women and all men do not speak only the values of care or justice respectively, most women do speak in the language of care (Monteverde, 2009) Most nurses at this point are women and they also speak the language of care as does their nursing philosophy. That voice is often silenced however by the system and those that work in it. The system proposes that ethics come from a group understanding in rendering an ethical value. Carol Gilligan, however would say that ethics is about the individual. This paper will use Carol Gilligan's theory of ethics in the ethical dilemma created by John in his car.
John was a 48 year old male patient with diabetes and early renal disease. He presently lives in his pick up truck and has the independent or stubborn point of view that he would choose to live there versus low income housing. John has had diabetes for some time and for most of his life was able to take care of himself. He worked for the local chemical plant and made an average salary for the area and had insurance benefits. He always felt his was doing pretty well, living in a middle class neighborhood with his wife and two kids. He took his medication and tried to exercise and eat right but his life was pretty hectic. He bought a brand new pick up truck just last year.
The local chemical plant closed about 6 months ago and with it went John's job. He has not really been able to find anything else with insurance. His wife left and went back east to live with her parents who were elderly and needed help and they were losing their home here so she felt it was the best thing to do for the kids. John stayed on hoping his job might come back. When he lost the house, he just moved the important stuff into his truck, though the local ordinances do not allow living in a vehicle, after all he was a man alone and did not need much. He couldn't buy his medication and meals were whatever was being served at the soup kitchen. Those are good meals he says but they do not meet his diabetic needs very well. He could not believe it but in order to get help from Medicaid, he had to have a mailing address.
He noticed he was getting a sore on his leg and he did call his doctor but he no longer has insurance and because of that, his physician would not see him. He has seen that physician for 10 years and though he tried, he could not get in to see another physician. He did not know about the indigent clinic. He went to the local drug store and got some things to try to keep his wound clean, but it continued to get worse. He decided he best go to the hospital emergency room which he did. He was admitted to the hospital and treated with IV antibiotics and dressing changes. Once the infection was gone a case