What Are the Ethical, Legal and Professonal Implications of Te Following Case

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Human rights Pages: 9 (3153 words) Published: January 2, 2013
What are the legal, ethical and professionals implications of this case? Throughout a nurse's career they have to consider the legal, ethical and professional implications of every action they do. The people that will be named in this assignment have been given a pseudonym, to protect their identity in accordance with the section 5 of the Nursing Midwifery Council Code of Professional Conduct (2002). I will also reflect on my essay using Gibbs (1988) theory of reflection. To be able to address this case I feel it is important to know what a law is. This can be divided in to two areas; Criminal law which relates to the conduct of an individual which is punished by the state and Civil law which relates to a relationship between individuals (Fletcher et al, 1995). In the law it states that a childrens nurse must take into consideration; The Children Act 1989 which states that the welfare of the child is paramount, Article 8 of the Human Right Act 1998 ('child or minors right to refuse medical treatment') and every Child Matters 2003. As a professional nurse you are bound by The Professional Code of Conduct which is produced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) (2004). Another aspect when addressing this case study would be to look at the ethical implications. Ethics is a series of moral behaviour whether it is right or wrong or ethical or unethical (Icheku, 2012). Icheku's (2012) (pg20) definition states that 'Ethics is a branch of moral philosophy which examines what is good (ethical) or bad (unethical) in ones decision or action' (pg20). Beauchamp and Childress (2001) developed a set of principals that provide an analyitcal framework for the children's nurse to work from which represent general values which underlie rules in common morality. They describe these as moral prinicipals, moral obligations or commitments, which are respect for autonomy - which means they have the cognitive ability to make informed choices; justice means to act in away that is fair to everyone; beneficence means to act in ways that promote the welfare of others, and non-maleficence which means not to inflict harm on others (Beauchamp & Childress, 2001). The case study I will be exploring relates to a 15 year old girl, Teesha who comes into A & E after an asthma attack, and informs the nurse looking after her that she is pregnant and that she consumes 20 units of alcohol a day. Her parents are not aware of the pregnancy and Teesha is threatening to discharge herself if the nurse informs them. The Nurse in charge has stated because she is a minor she must inform the parents and does so. Teesha's mother has arrived at hospital very distressed and has told Teesha to have an abortion. Teesha is now very distressed. The first issue of this case is whether Teesha has autonomy. If a child has autonomy which has to be verified by a doctor, and they do not wish their parents to know it would be a breach of confidentiality to inform them, which would be a breach of the Nursing Midwifery Council Code which carries consequences in the form of a professional conduct comittee. They then would have complete autonomous rights when it comes to consenting to treatment, refusing treatment or informing the primary carers of information relating to treating the minor. What has to be decided first is whether Teesha has autonomy. To confirm if Teesha has autonomy, a doctor would have to assess her as 'Gillick competent'. This means that Teesha has emotional and intellectual maturity and understanding, and that she understands the possible complications and or side effects of the proposed treatment. If she is found to have 'Gillick Competence' then she has the right that her parents are not given the information regarding her pregnancy. But if it is found that she does not have 'Gillick compentancy' her parents need to be informed as the are her primary carers and they will then be responsible for the welfare of both Teesha and her baby and giving them...
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