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External Influences on Ethics: Guarding the Guardians, Market Forces, Social Responsibility, and Technology
Pages 3 (753 words)
EXTERNAL INFLUENCES ON NURSING ETHICS (A Personal Essay) Name of Student (author) Name of University (affiliation) STAGES OF TRUTH TELLING AND PATIENT AUTONOMY Autonomy, as it pertains to the patient in a health care situation, means self-rule or self-determination…
The patient is given unconditional worth and utmost respect (Morrison, 2011, p. 28). Truth telling is an ethical imperative; however, there are situations where absolutely telling the truth can be harmful, creating an adverse reaction from patient and his family. Truth can be told in stages, or in installments. Morrison mentions that Kant requires truth telling as a categorical imperative but utilitarianism on the other hand, requires the health care provider to weigh the benefits of truth telling against a possible harm if truth is told all at once. Fidelity can be done in installments, if the situation warrants it (ibid. p. 34), and out of compassion. A similar situation which I had encountered concerned patients who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. It presents an ethical predicament for a need to communicate honestly and a need to keep it secret at first due to reluctance of family members to disclose to the patient that he is suffering from an irreversible, incurable and eventually hopeless, diagnosis. Silence may be conflicted with patient autonomy as at its early stages, an Alzheimer's patient can still decide. Staff within a health care system are hired based on their initial competence, and then must undergo regular evaluations based on demonstrated continuing competence (JCAHO, 2002, p. 12) to create an ethos of continuous learning. ...
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