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Ethical Issue - Research Paper Example

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Ethical Issue

Introduction End of life decision making has become a major focus of attention in healthcare sector, reflected in the media, legislation, research, and health professional education. Nurses are the primary caregivers to patients as they struggle to make difficult decisions, either in advance of serious illness or at the end of life, and to family members coping with impending loss. Nurses thus have a central role to play in ongoing efforts to improve both the care that dying patients receive and the readiness of individuals to plan for this last phase of life. No matter where nurses function in their varied roles, they are faced with ethical decisions that can impact them and their patients in equal measure. The legal and ethical issues are significant in this era of increased campaign to improve the overall quality of healthcare. Strict adherence to the legal policies and healthcare practice ethical standards serves to boost the performance of healthcare proffesionals Review and Evaluation of Issue Ethical issues near the end of life (EOL) often arise because of concerns about how much and what kind of care make sense for someone with a limited life expectancy, particularly if the patient is very old. There is often conflict between physicians or nurses and family members about what constitutes appropriate care (Keegan, Drick & Watson, 2011). Many of these conflicts can be avoided by clarifying who makes the difficult decisions to limit care and by advance care planning. Understanding the ethical and legal framework in which such decisions are made can also transform what appear to be problematic questions into straightforward answers. Ethical decision making is complex and difficult. For this reason, many professions compose ethical codes to aid their practitioners, to aid those in the profession in dealing with perplexing situations that inevitably arise (Keegan, Drick & Watson, 2011). The American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics is of course one such code. It outlines the important general values, duties, and responsibilities that flow from the specific role of being a nurse. The relationship of the individual practitioner to the code, however, is an aspect of professional moral life that requires interpretation and may not always be well understood (Fry, Veatch & Taylor, 2011). A historical and theoretical analysis of the ANA Code can provide for an understanding as to how it is to be used not as a substitute for moral thinking but as an aid to moral thinking. According to Nightingale’s theoretical approach of observation and determining what needs to be done in caring for those dying and their families, there is still the unknown of what takes place in the present moment. End of life is associated with a substantial burden of suffering among many dying individuals as well as health and financial consequences that extend to family members and society. When Nightingale entered nursing, there were no formal ethical standards, but she embodied and advocated for the need of high ethical standards herself. In formalization stage, some organization, person, or persons amalgamates earlier traditions, precepts, practices, and rules, attempting to construct a coherent assemblage out of them, and, in the process, attempts to rationalize and justify them, and the field more generally, often emphasizing ideals of service to others and dedication to some public good (Lachman, 2006). The ...Show more


ETHICAL ISSUES IN NURSING Name Institution Date Personal statement As an aspiring senior nursing professional, I believe that the quality of healthcare needs to be the primary goal in the society. In order to realize this, ethical issues and legal policies have to be within my in-depth understanding…
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