March 23. 2011
Ethical and Legal Issues
Laws are to protect the innocent. Our patients are the innocents when the nurse is to be caring for them. The nurse is expected to care for the patient not only with respect but also with skill and knowledge to perform the job properly and effectively. Two cases affected by the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics are very clear. In the case of the nurse witness, her code of ethics clearly states she is to be honest and as accurate as possible to aid in any law procedures. In the Case of Marianne, the Code expects the nurse to collaborate if it is in the best interest for the patient for quality care with the committee and assist what is in the best interest of the patient. The ethical decisions made by nurses are shaped by personal and societal influence. A recent Gallup poll survey conducted indicated that nursing is the highest most respected profession by the public for its honesty and ethics. This has been the case since 1999 except in 2001 where the firefighter took the honor for their historic work at the World trade center. Because society regard nursing so highly, nurses have to keep that in mind when making ethical decision. Nurses pride themselves as responsible and accountable. With respect for people, autonomy, beneficence, nonmalficence, and justice compose the core ethical principles. Nurses do not only understand these principles, they live them as well. Nurses may occasionally be from a different culture whereas the culture defines health and illness in different ways. As a result, the nurse may form personal opinion regarding the care he or she is rendering. Moreover, nurses are often put in situation of conflict arising from competing loyalties in the workplace, individual situation of conflicting expectation from patients, families, physicians, colleagues, and in many cases health care organizations and health plans. The motivation of individual...