Ethical Principles That All Health Care Providers

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There are ethical principles that all health care providers, especially nurses, should abide by not only for the patient’s safety, health promotion, and satisfaction, but for a peace of mind, knowing that the best possible quality of care was provided. Within this paper, two major ethical principles will be discussed in detail. This includes respect for autonomy and nonmalefience.
Autonomy, as defined by Mary Ellen Grohar-Murray and Joanne C. Langan (2011), is the “capacity of persons to freely make decisions in light of their own understanding, beliefs, and goals” (p.102). Nurses adopt the ethical principle of autonomy by respecting the patient’s wishes, and allow patients to express their freedom to make their own choices revolving around their own health. Although patients are constantly provided with information on their best option of treatments and procedures, ultimately, they decide whether or not to follow through. For example, a cancer patient may be told that his best option is chemotherapy, but he may refuse treatment because he knows the side effects of them. As patient advocates, nurses may try to encourage him to take the treatment, but in the end, they will listen to his wishes and respect his right to refuse treatment.
On the other hand, “Nonmalefience is avoiding harm and risk of harm” (Murray, DiCroce, and Langan (2011), p.102). Nonmalefience is the core belief of any health care provider as it is the opposite of their purpose. Their purpose is to promote
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