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Importance of ethics in nursing profession


The nursing profession requires the nurses to observe certain rules and codes of conduct so as to prevent any issues that may arise as a result of either neglect or ignorance to mention a few. Although much of nursing ethics can appear similar to medical ethics, there are some factors that differentiate the two.

Nurses focus on care and nurture, rather than cure of illness resulting in distinctive ethics. Furthermore, nursing ethics emphasize the ethics of everyday practice rather than moral dilemmas. Nursing ethics is more concerned with developing the caring relationship than broader principles, such as justice.

Nurses seek to defend the dignity of those in their care. Being able to respond to the vulnerability of patients in a way that provides dignifying care is a key concept in the field. In terms of standard ethical theory, respecting dignity can also be aligned with having a respect for people and their autonomous choices.

People are then enabled to make decisions about their own treatment. Amongst other things this grounds the practice of informed consent that should be respected by the nurse. Much of the debate lies in the discussion of cases where people are unable to make choices about their own treatment due to being incapacitated or having a mental illness that affects their judgement.

Ethics in nursing profession encourage and enable the nurse to endeavor to practice in an ethical way. Unfortunately, this key outcome in nursing practice is sometimes challenged by resource, policy or environmental constraints in the practice area, which can lead to moral distress.


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