Ethical Dilemma in Nursing. Obligations of a Nurse.

Ethical Dilemma in Nursing. Obligations of a Nurse. Research Paper example
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The nursing profession is guided by ethical principles that ensure that the patient care is performed at acceptable standards. Ethical principles such as non-maleficence, beneficence, autonomy and justice are the basis of the profession, directing the code of conduct of nurses as well as patient care.


Ethical dilemmas are clinical situations where the beneficent care giving interventions or ethical values of health professionals conflict with a patient’s or family member’s wishes (Melia, 1992). Nurses are obligated to respect a patient’s choice and enforce the decision within the law and standards of the profession. Nurses may also have personal values that may conflict with a patient’s choice and it is important in all situations that nurses respect the patient’s choice. Ethical principles exist in the profession so as to guide the conduct of nurses and when faced with ethical dilemmas, the basis for decision making for the health care provider is guided by these values.Nursing ethics guide the professional conduct of nurses during patient care. These ethics share several principals with medical ethics and can be distinguished by the emphasis nursing ethics have on human dignity, formation of caring relationships and collaborative care. Principals such as justice, autonomy, non-maleficence and beneficence are core to the nursing profession (Brody, 1998). The ethical principles guide the everyday practice of nurses to ensure good patient care and to practice within the acceptable code of ethics.
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