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With unparalleled technological advancement, nursing and bio-medical research, and the present healthcare environment, nurses must be cognisant of their professional and personal views of ethics.In this essay, a view of the aims of bioethics and more specifically nursing ethics will be explored. NURSING ETHICAL LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS IN TODAY’S PRACTICE SETTING.
The Code articulates nursing’s moral duties and obligations, but ultimately the nurse is accountable to the laws of the land.
America has, potentially, the most medically litigious society.
A recent Gallop Poll ranked nurses above medical doctors, teachers, and even clergy when asked which profession was regarded as "the most honest and ethical" (Www.gallup.com/poll/releases/pr001127.asp) The aim of nursing ethics should be the examination of ethical issues specific to nursing.
This incorporates the protection of patient rights and the deontological principles of autonomy, beneficence, nonmalfience, justice and confidentiality, and offers practical guidance on decision-making in the practice setting, regardless of individual ideologies.
Acquiring a nursing licence does not ensure moral or ethical practice.
The American Nurses Association, in response to social and healthcare needs, has developed a Code of Ethics. Recently in the media, there have been enormous case settlements, such as those for smokers, and, as a result, malpractice insurance costs have escalated. Although nurses make ethically based decisions, they must also be aware of the legal consequences. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labour Act of 1986 (EMTALA) was enacted to ensure access to health screening for all people who present regardless of their ability to pay. The number of people seeking and requiring medical attention without insurance or ability to pay is increasing, causing a shift in healthcare delivery, due to legal mandate to provide care for all. This is contrary to nursing’s philosophy that the preservation of dignity and human rights should take precedence over preservation of life, including the right to die without suffering. Nursing ethics is not a subcategory of medical ethics, but separate with its own literature, context and application (Veatch, 1985). Nursing ethics refers to the "principles governing the conduct of nurses in relation to patients, their families, associates, and society at large (Wlody, 1998). The impact of restructuring on professional nursing practice. Johnstone (1999) further describes nursing ethics as "a practice discipline, which aims to provide guidance to nurses on how to decide and act morally in the contexts in which they work. Nurses have a unique association with patients, a "more direct and therefore more ethically compelling relationship" (Loewy and Loewy, 2001). With rapid technological advance and the present healthcare environment, nurses must deal with an increased number of new and complex ethical dilemmas. A., Benner, P., Drought, T., Drew, B., Stotts, N., Stannard, D., Rushton, C., Scanlon, C., & White, C. End of life issues in intensive care units: A national random survey of nurses’ knowledge and beliefs. Sometimes these issues are previously unknown and "at any given time the practitioner may be confronted with particularities that are not yet accounted for in science or technology" (Puntillo, Brenner, Drought, Drew, Stotts, Stannard, Rushton, Scanlon, and White, 2001).