Nursing Ethics Case Study

Topics: Human rights, Ethics, Palliative care Pages: 2 (369 words) Published: January 8, 2011
The Code of Ethics for Nurses

This paper discusses the code of ethics of nurses. The nurses are sometimes found in very challenging situations that call for proper decision making. The action taken should not be against this code of ethics. Nurses are guided by a set of laws that are meant to assist them in their duties to offer medical services and at the same time satisfy their patient’s requirements. The code of ethics for the nurses rejects any attempt to perform activities that are contrary to the patient’s rights. These include the right to life, to self esteem and the right to respectful treatment (International Council of Nurses, 2006).

In the case study situation the surgeon made a wrong recommendation for the patient. Mr. B was wrongfully scheduled for a tumor resection procedure yet the most appropriate course of treatment for him was a palliative treatment or limited intervention. Subjecting the patient to a tumor resection was an act that subjected the aged patient to a higher risk of postoperative recovery (Strang, Strang, Hultborn, Arner, 2004).

With the problem of bed space the patient deserved to be treated equally with other patients despite his age, the health condition and his limited chances of survival. The human rights stipulate clearly that the life of one individual is equally important as the other and therefore should not be undermined (Tschudin, 2003). The nurses should have acted by the principle of the first patient to be admitted the first to be served and in that situation the other patients younger than Mr. B should have been directed to other facilities. By all ethical standards, nurses should always value the lives of their patients regardless of the situation since all the lives are precious and none can be substituted for another one.


Strang P, Strang S, Hultborn R, & Arnér S (March 2004). Existential pain—an entity, aprovocation, or a challenge? Journal of Pain Symptom...

References: Strang P, Strang S, Hultborn R, & Arnér S (March 2004). Existential pain—an entity, a provocation, or a challenge? Journal of Pain Symptom Management 27 (3): 241–50
International Council of Nurses. (2006). The ICN Code of Ethics for Nurses. Retrieved 23 March, 2010, from
Tschudin, Verena (2003). Ethics in Nursing: the caring relationship (3rd ed.). Edinburgh: Butterworth-Heinemann.
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