Nursing Ethics Issues – Care Example

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"Nursing Ethics Issues" is a great example of a paper on care. Nursing is a profession that entails the health care of families, individuals, and communities to ensure good health. Nursing ethics controls the nursing profession in order to that nurses are legally responsible for their practices. Nurses are under obligation to care for individuals regardless of their age and cultural backgrounds. This paper will discuss two case studies with different scenarios concerning nursing ethics. Case number one In this first case, such an action is considered unethical but legal. This is one of the circumstances where a nurse can treat a patient without his or her consent (Daley 2011). In this case, the decision is unethical in the sense that, the 12-year-old boy learned that he will not live and thus made up his mind that the chemotherapy be terminated but the nurse went ahead and aggressively administered a new course of chemotherapy, without the consent of the boy.

Nurses are legally responsible for using their knowledge and skills to provide for the safety and comfort of their patients. As a nurse, one is ethically responsible for acting as a patient advocate to safeguard patients’ rights.

This is a situation when one must make choices that are complicated by psychological pressures, uncertainty, and personal emotions. One of the major aspects that guarantee a flourishing relationship between a patient and a nurse is trust. Professional nursing practice is measured based on what a reasonable and prudent nurse would do (Daley 2011). To establish that trust, a nurse must respect the patients’ right to decide whether to undergo any medical intervention even where a refusal may result in harm to themselves or in their own death.

Patients must be given sufficient information that they can understand to enable them to exercise their right to make informed decisions about their health.   Laws of practicing medicine shows that they are supposed to respect the rights and honor the human dignity of the patient in care, but they go against it. Case number two In the second case study, the action is neither ethical nor legal. Both the nurse and the physician have gone against the ethics of practicing medicine. The nurse was supposed to respect and promote the autonomy of the patient to help him express his health needs and value.

The nurse just followed instructions from the physician without thinking about the consequences that could befall him if anything goes wrong. This study shows that both the physician and the nurse acted unprofessionally which is a failure to conform to minimal standards that are supposed to be followed. They also portray professional misconduct and a lack of skills that cause harm that could be avoided. The ethics code states that any patient under the care of a nurse has the right to autonomy.

This involves the freedom to take any action for self and make decisions that will benefit patient welfare, the ability to determine personal goals, a complete understanding of choice, and freedom to implement choice. In legal terms, this can be termed as a failure to do something that a reasonable person would do, or doing something that a reasonable and prudent person would not do (Daley 2011). A patient has the right to express what he /she feels and what issues or medications are affecting them.

Nurses are not only legally responsible for using their knowledge and skills to provide safety and comfort for their patients, but also ethically responsible for acting as patient advocate to safeguard patients’ rights.   The physician’ s actions were both illegal and unethical. Comparing the nurse’ s action with the ethics of nursing, a nurse is supposed to provide services with respect for human dignity and the uniqueness of the patient without looking at the social or economic status and the nature of health problems.


Daley A. (2011). Nursing. London: Oxford University Press.
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