Essay on Nursing Ethics

977 WordsAug 17, 20084 Pages
Ethics in Nursing Overview According to Aiken (2004) “Ethics is the discipline that deals with rightness and wrongness of actions”. The goal is similar to that of the legal system except that in most cases there is no system of enforcement or ethical penalties. “General ethics is the consideration of the morality of human acts in general”. (Fitzpatrick 2002) In nursing, ethical issues arise daily. There are issues such as death, dying, birth, abortion, genetics, quality of life, and general human rights. The legal system and ethical system overlap in most situations. Every patient contact can produce a legal or ethical situation. Ethics is an area that changes with time. As our earth continues to evolve new…show more content…
In deontology “The ends can never justify the means”. (Kay 1997) This form of ethical thinking was formalized by Immanuel Kant in the 1700’s, according to his thoughts “Always act in such a way that you can also will that the maxim of your action should become a universal law”. (Kay 1997) Utilitarianism This form of ethical thinking believes that a moral is the action that results in the greater amount of happiness for the great number of people. Everyone is considered equal. According to 19th century philosopher John Stuart Mill “An action is right if it tends to promote happiness and wrong if it tends to produce the reverse of happiness, not just the happiness of the performer of the action, but also everyone affected by it.” (West 2008) Commonalities When examining these two ethical views you notice that both deal with universal laws and ethical issues. They both look at morality and make it objective, scientific and rational. Deontology and Utilitarianism both include the nature of right and wrong, and human nature and choice. Advantages/Disadvantages When you look at Deontology, this ethical vision looks out for each individual. Every on treated exactly the same, regardless of circumstances. Each ethical law is absolute and can be looked at in one way. The advantage I see is that no one can read into or change ethical laws to suit them; the disadvantage I see is the same. There are issues in

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