Nursing Ethics: Ethics And Ethical Ethics In Nursing

Decent Essays
Ethics are moral principles which set guidelines for nurses to distinguish between the right and wrong action (Chaloner, 2007). He further mentioned that nursing is an ethical profession with an ultimate goal of promoting the health and wellbeing of patient through good ethical decision-making process. As supported by Cohen and Erickson (2006), they stated that nurses are expected to hold their responsibilities and accomplished their duties to safeguard their patients in daily nursing practices. However, they also addressed that, nowadays nurses face more ethical dilemmas in their practices while maintaining at patient’s best interest. Chiaranai (2011) explained that ethical dilemma arises from having the need to choose between two or more…show more content…
If the nurse fails to solve the ethical dilemma, he/she will face moral distress which can decrease his/her performance in clinical practices thus endangers patient’s safety (Cohen and Erickson, 2006). Therefore, in these crisis situations, ethics come into action to help nurses to make the right decision. In ethics, there are two major theories, include deontology and utilitarianism, which can be applied in certain circumstances of ethical dilemma. These two major theories will help nurses to justify their judgements before deciding on an option and/or action. Black (2013) described deontology as an act of duty to fulfill an obligation. She further explained that deontology was first introduces by a German philosopher, Immanuel Kant who is a predominant deontologist. For Immanuel Kant’s point of view, an act is moral if the motivation of doing it is good regardless of the outcome (Black, 2013). For example, Patient A…show more content…
She further explained that utilitarianism was first introduced by David Humes, which then further refined by Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. They believed that in utilitarian perspective, an option is decided by its usefulness of generating the greatest good for majority of a group. The utilitarian’s main goal upon making a decision is to achieve maximum amount of happiness and pleasure in overall well-being. For example, Patient C was diagnosed with end stage of liver cancer. The doctor had discussed with the family members regarding the prognosis and available treatment for the patient. The family requested for the doctor and nurses to hide patient’s diagnosis from the patient. The reason was because the patient had history of severe depression and the family did not wish to cause additional worries to the patient. Based on utilitarian view, the nurses should grant the family’s request of hiding the diagnosis to patient. By hiding the diagnosis, the nurses had established a mutual happiness with the family members and the doctor because the patient would not get more depressed but instead he was able to continue with the treatment by the doctor. On top of that, Edward (2008) explained that this theory was further branched out into two types, include Act utilitarianism and Rule utilitarianism. He portrayed act utilitarian as a person who measures the
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