Nurses are required to obtain the consent of the patient before invoking any medical intervention otherwise such an act would be seen as assault and battery. The law requires that nurses obtain explicit consent from a patient who fulfils certain conditions so that the nurses…
should be in senses, of the legal age of consent and able to form decisions if they are to provide consent. However, it may not be possible for the patient to make decisions if they are not of the legal age of consent, are out of senses or are affected enough not to make sane decision. In such cases, the next of kin are responsible for providing explicit consent for medical procedures. In any of these scenarios, it is the nurse’s responsibility to ensure total confidentiality as a part of essential ethical practice. Confidential information available to nurses may be used against the subject individual who was gained consent from. A breach of confidentiality may occur if the nurse provides information on the patient willingly or unwillingly to any unconcerned party without the patient’s consent.
Nursing entails a number of different ethical and moral responsibilities much like other professions. One of the key ethical responsibilities of nurses is to ensure that consent is obtained prior to performing any routines on a patient as described by Gallagher and Hodge (2012, p38). Carvalho et al. (2011, p12) detail that it is the responsibility of nurses involved to ensure that all stakeholders including the patient and his care givers are on board in terms of consent to avoid problematic situations later. In addition to the conventional roles of nurses as carers of patients, the roles of nurses and their ethical responsibilities have been on the increase. Parahoo (2006, p469) outlines how consent is also involved in nursing research, where it is essential to obtain the patient’s or their care giver’s consent after being properly informed on how the obtained information will be utilised. The Royal College of Nursing (2011, p5) mandates that it must also be taken to note that the ethical dimensions of informed consent in nursing have given way in certain areas to legal principles and codes.
Healthcare has required extensive ethical involvement since various ...
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