Nursing Ethics and Malpractice

3247 WordsApr 28, 200013 Pages
INTRODUCTION In every nurse's career, the nurse is faced with many legal or ethical dilemmas. One of the professional competencies for nursing states that nurses should " integrate knowledge of ethical and legal aspects of health care and professional values into nursing practice". It is important to know what types of dilemmas nurses may face during their careers and how they may have been dealt with in the past. It is also important for nurses to understand what malpractice is and how they may protect themselves from a malpractice suit. LAW VS. ETHICS It is important to first understand the difference between law and ethics. Ethics examines the values and actions of people. Often times there is no one right course of action when…show more content…
Many hot topics in ethics relate to the right to life. These topics include euthanasia and the discontinuation of life support treatments. The right to autonomy is also referred to as the right of self-determination. This right allows for the patient to make their own decisions, such as: determining what course of treatment he may take for a disease, refusing treatment, or refusing medications. The right to health care requires that a society shall provide the funding, personnel, and facilities necessary to ensure that individuals have access to necessary health care. Health care for everyone alsorelates to distributive justice. The question being asked today is shall we take what health care resources we have and spread it very thin but so that everyone has equal access of care, or shall we take what resources we have any distribute them in such a way that we will do the most good to for the overall population? American Nursing Association (ANA) Code of Ethics In 1985, the ANA established a Code of Ethics for nurses that contains eleven points. Each of the eleven points is a general principle rather than specific guidelines. For instance, a nurse faced with an ethical dilemma involving resuscitation will find no mention of resuscitation in the Code of Ethics. The ANA has stated that the Code of Ethics is not open to negotiation, they are also currently in the process of updating the Code of Ethics. In this section, each of the eleven points will
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