Ethical And Legal Issues In Nursing Analysis Essay
Many confusing factors make it a task to establish, monitor and sustain ethical and legal issues in nursing. Everyone has various personal views based on experiences of life, religion, education and political affiliations, all nurses should be aware about nursing laws and ethics and understand how nursing legal issues can affect them. The American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics is very influential to nurses because it is used as a framework for making ethical decisions with all aspects of health care.
The foundation in any successful professional practice, are based on ethics, values, morals and principles from which the ANA Code of Ethics are formatted. Moral leadership in nursing is about professionalism, responsibility, accountability, and competency. Nurses have an obligation to preserve their patient’s values, beliefs and dignity, to assure optimal health care, personal well- being, and promote quality of life. In all aspect of nursing, nurses are role models, healthcare providers, patient advocates and are required to meet the needs of their patients.
Which can be done by communicating openly and honestly, being fair and trustworthy, being proactive, and by putting patients first. Nurses are face with ethical dilemmas on a daily basic therefore, must examine their own personal and professional values and morals in order to maintain a caring and compassionate relationship with their patients. When complex ethical issues involving health care arise, the Ethics Committee may be needed for additional resources to aid the patient and family. The Ethics Committee is made up of multidisciplinary groups drawn from the institution and the local community.
It is important for nurses to know how to deal with ethical decisions so that patient rights and values are honored without compromising their own moral values. Nurses should respect patient’s cultural beliefs and values. For instance a patient admitted in the unit that is strongly against blood product, and desperately needs blood transfusion to live has the right to refuse blood product. Nurses should respect the patient’s belief even when it is not right according to what their own values are.
As nurses we perform different tasks such as: taking care of patient, decision making, as well as acting as patient advocate. Nurses are accountable for their ethical conduct (ANA, 2004) . It is important that Nurses are aware of their professional ethical and moral principles of their duties. Nurses need to have a clear understanding of the ethical principles in decision making and consider their own values and beliefs and the values and beliefs of their patients. There are several laws in the United States of America that affects nursing and how the nurse should care for and relate to her patient.
Only a few of these laws apply to the situations reviewed in both case studies and those are the ones that will be elaborated on. In the case of the woman on the respirator, the statutory law will be applicable. Under statutory law, “patients have the right to declare their wishes regarding treatment decisions” (Koernig Blais & Hayes, 2011). According to the case study, the patient did not have an Advance Healthcare Directive, therefore statutory laws will not be violated in the family’s decisions regarding her care.
In the case of the impaired nurse, any or all of the following legal aspects could apply: The nurse’s license could be revoked under Administrative law. The State Board of Nursing is appointed by the government to write and enforce rules for nurse licensing. These rules are written in the nurse practice act, if found to be violated, the nurse could lose her license to practice. Secondly, if found guilty of wrongdoing, the nurse could face civil and/or criminal charges; the patient’s advocate could file a civil suit against this nurse, if she has indeed violated the nurse and client contract.
Criminal charges may apply if her actions negatively impacted society as a whole. Lastly, Tort charges may also be applicable if this nurse is found guilty of negligence and abandonment. The nurse’s key obligation is to the patient, many times the legal responsibility of Nurses comes into question when an Ethical Dilemma arises. An Ethical Dilemma occurs when there are conflicting moral claims, usually requiring us as Nurses to make choices between what can be considered unfavorable to some and favorable to others.
In any professions, Legal obligations and Moral Obligations are place upon individuals. A moral obligation is based upon moral and ethical principles but not enforceable by law. Legal Obligations are formal statements of law and enforceable under the law. The Legal responsibilities of Nurses are usually indicated in the Nurse Practice act, it is a set of law proposed to protect the public from harm and as well to safeguard the integrity of the nursing profession. According to LLC and George F. Indest III, (2008), “A nurse has a duty to provide competent care to patients.
This includes clarifying work assignments with management, as well as determining and assessing her own skills, knowledge and abilities. A Nurse Accepting a work assignment that is beyond a nurse’s scope of practice may be in violation of the Nurse Practice Act. ” Conclusion Having an understanding of our ethical beliefs and laws is the foundation for the decisions we make in our daily lives. These decisions have an impact on our future as well as an impact on the organizations in which we work. Take time out to review basic nursing laws to avoid litigations and liability.