Nursing Code of Ethics Essay

1052 Words Aug 8th, 2012 5 Pages
Nursing Code of Ethics

Introduction

Butts and Rich (1-26) point out that effective nursing requires both broad knowledge and a set of well developed abilities and skills. The required tasks, are many and varied and in order to do them properly, care must be taken to respect each patient's rights and sensitivities. This is why, according to the authors, nursing care must be guided by a code of ethics. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and discussion of the "Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements" developed by the American Association of Nurses (ANA 1-2).

Content and Clarity of the Code

The ANA's Code of Ethics (1-2) consists of several ethical statements called provisions. There are a total
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However, Fry and Veatch (32) also point out that the Code relies, to at least some extent, on the principles underlying humanist, feminist, and social ethics.

The American Nurses Association's Code of Ethics (2) also defines and distinguishes the terms "ethical" and "moral" thereby helping nurses to better understand the nature of the principles provided. Specifically, it is noted that:

"Ethical" is used to refer to reasons for decisions about how one ought to act, using the above mentioned approaches. In general, the word "moral" overlaps with "ethical" but is more aligned with personal belief and cultural values. Statements that describe activities and attributes of nurses in this Code of Ethics are to be understood as normative or prescriptive statements expressing expectations of ethical behavior (2).



Process

According to Hook and White (1-7), the ANA's Code of Ethics was originally drawn up and adopted by the organization in 1926. However, during this era this code merely consisted of suggestions for proper and ethical behavior. In 1940, a "tentative code" consisting of a substantive revision of the earlier code was drawn up and accepted unanimously by the ANA House of Delegates. This code was revised and amended repeatedly over the next decades until in 2001, the existing…