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The Social Contract Of Nursing

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The social contract of nursing encompasses the responsibilities of the nursing profession and other health care professionals entrusted by society. Through this contract, nurses are expected to function and have the responsibility to provide all members of society who need medical care regardless of their cultural, social, spiritual and economic status with honest and respectful service keeping in mind the public’s trust. Furthermore, it is expected that medical professionals and nurses provide individuals, families and the community the best possible care. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine the social covenant of nursing in relation to the controversial and ethical issues behind the use of Henrietta Lacks’ cells (HeLa) in…show more content…
Henrietta only knew about this outcome at the end of radium treatment when she asked if she “could bear another child” (Skloot, 2010, p.47). And although it was stated in her record that she was informed of the side effects of the treatment, it obviously was not delivered clearly or education may not even have been given. Another example of this construct not met in the case of Henrietta Lacks was the lack of compassionate care. Patient experiences can be improved if healthcare professionals act with compassion and dedication to serve patients and promote their well-being. Henrietta suffered so much pain and complained about the discomfort as complicated by the disease process, but her complaints were ignored; instead, her doctors wrote just the opposite of what she complained about stating, “the patient states that she feels fairly well” and continued, “no evidence of recurrence” (Skloot, 2010, p.63). This is an example of deception, lack of compassion and outright contradiction to professionalism and commitment to the primacy of the patient. Construct 2 Ethical practice is another component of the social contract of nursing which is a reflection of the values, beliefs and moral principles of the nursing profession. The American Nurses Association (ANA) has established the “Code of Ethics for Nurses” which serves as a “guideline” for the nursing profession in which clinical judgements and
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