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Nursing Ethics, Law and Professional Code of Practice

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Nursing Ethics, Law and Professional Code of Practice

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  • August 2010
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1, DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN THE LAW, ETHICAL THEORIES AND CODE OF PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE.

Many of the decisions that health care professionals make in the course of their practice are affected by legal principles, moral reasoning, code of professional practice and it is important for the health care professional (nurses) to be able to differentiate between ethical principles, the law and codes of professional conduct. It is also helpful to the nurses to develop a clear understanding of the law, ethical issues and code of professional practice pertaining to their profession as a way of improving high standards and to hold each health professional accountable for his or her responsibilities or actions within legal and ethical matters. This is essential to ensuring that decisions are consistent with applicable legal and ethical principles because often nurses act as advocates for their patients. Usually the nurses are required to possess a certain amount of knowledge, skill and competency in ethical decision making for the best interest of the patient. Law is the collection of binding rules of human conduct or action imposed by the authority, society or custom. There is a need for every nurse to have a clear understanding of the legal implications of their work so that they can protect themselves and their patients. Also this will help protect them from criminal charges and civil claims when they treat and care for patients. Registered nurses and midwives in the United Kingdom are regulated by the nursing and midwifery council which is a statutory body set by the parliament of the United Kingdom through the Nursing and Midwifery Order (2002).This order aims to investigate allegations, lack of competence, promoting standards and to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the public. There are different types of law that is public, civil, criminal and private....