Nursing Laws and Ethics
As nursing profession continuously progresses in its quest for excellence, its nature becomes complex in the light of meeting the standards set forth by the implementing bodies in nursing profession. These standards are indeed the result of careful assessment and observation made to resolve the never ending issues and concerns pertaining to the legal responsibilities and ethical obligations of nurses.
Many of these include the duty to interpret and carry out orders, duty to monitor the patient, delegation of authority, consent to medical and surgical procedures, confidentiality of medical records, negligence and others. But among the issues and concerns aforementioned, one of the most controversial issues which caught my attention is “Malpractice”.
Sometimes, nurses, for some personal reason, go beyond their boundaries and exceed the scope of nursing practice they are ought to observe at all times. In abroad, there have been numerous reported incidents wherein Filipino nurses who happened to be medical doctors here in the Philippines were charged of malpractice and was deported back here for attempting to save a dying patient in the absence of the medical doctor in-charge. Legally speaking, what they did was a “breach of duty” and basically, they should have been subjected to corresponding sanction. However, as far as nurses’ sworn duty is concerned, it’s also their responsibility to save and protect life at all cost.
I understand that, doing the job beyond their legal limitations was hard for them. But because Filipino nurses are typically compassionate, they have set aside the thought of facing consequences of their actions and didn’t think twice when they saw the imminent danger to the patient’s life, considering their knowledge and experience in critical situations as doctors.
It is quite paradoxical in nature, to which side they are to choose in the...