Legal an Ethical Issues in Nursing

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Title: Ethical and Legal issues in Nursing paper

Student Name: Aleyamma John, RN

Course Name/Number: NUR/391

Due Date: Mar 21, 2011

Instructor Name: Dolores Martinez

Nurses are facing many legal or ethical dilemmas in their career. Nurses should combine knowledge of ethical and legal aspects of health care and professional values into nursing practice. It is very essential to know what kind of dilemmas nurses may face during their profession and how they have been dealt with in the past.

First, it is very essential for the nurses to know the difference between law and ethics. Ethics observes the values and actions of people. On the other hand, laws are necessary rules of conduct. When laws are broken down, it is liable to be punished by an authority or a power. An instance of this would be a nurse carrying out suitable doctor's orders. A nurse may be faced with an act that may be ethical but not legal, such as permitting a cancer patient to smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes. The opposite may arise where an action may be legal but not ethical. Finally, an action may be neither legal or ethical.

Nowadays, ethical dilemmas in health-care organizations is increasing day by day and the resolution of ethical dilemmas need careful assessment of all the facts and causes of the case. In order to resolve these issues, nowadays many institutions appoint ethic committees, which are made of healthcare professionals, ethicists, lawyers, and clergy. The responsibility of ethics committee is to help decision makers resolve ethical dilemmas using an ethical decision-making process. The nurse work together with other health professionals and the public in encouraging community, national, and international efforts to meet health requirements.

“A value is an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode of conduct or end-state of existence.”...
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