The American Code of Ethics for Nurses (ANA) with interpretive statements acts as a guide for professional conduct by outlining the ethical values of the profession. The Code provides the profession with a statement of responsibility to the public and serves as a basis for individual nursing decisions in clinical situations when ethical dilemmas arise.
The code integrates universal, ethical principles which serve as the foundation for ethical actions. Nurses face ethical dilemmas on a daily basis. Our primary goal as nurses is the commitment to protect our patients. Provision 2 of the American Nursing Code of Ethics, describes the nurses primary commitment is to the patient. (ANA, 2010). Another important goal is to maintain safety, dignity and accountability. Respect the patients confidentiality and autonomy. The Nurse acts as the person who helps and advocates for the patient and their families about health care and end of life decisions.
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According to the American Nurse Association Code of Ethics, Provision 11 states that, a fundamental principle that underlines all nursing practice is aspect for the inherent worth, dignity, and human rights of every individual (ANA, 2010). In the case study of Marianne a comatose patient, she has no advance directives, leaving her husband and children to make the decisions with different opinions. (Chatty Black, 2011, peg. 175). The ethics committee is already working on the case and are assisting the family in the decision making process.
The nurse Ernst ethically accept the family’s decisions and provide the highest quality nursing care for Marianne regardless if the nurse agrees or not. The nurses actions should be based on ethical theory and standards, not personal opinion. Nursing encompasses the prevention of illness, the alleviation of suffering, and the protection, promotion, and restoration of health in the case of individuals, families, groups and communities. (ANA, 2010). In the case study on peg. 91, involves a nurse who is called to testify in a malpractice suit against a colleague who was negligent in nursing practice. Blabs Hayes, 2011). The nurse has a moral and ethical responsibility to report acts of illegal, unethical, incompetent, or harm to the patient to the appropriate persons within the organization as well as to the State Board of Nursing. Malpractice is negligence that occurred while the errors was performing as a professional. Every hospital provides education and competencies for members of health care team to ensure their skills are current. According to American Nurses code of Ethics Provision 5 describes the responsibility to preserve integrity and safety, to maintain competence (ANA, 2010).
In both case studies, the nurses duty is to the patient according to ANA Code Of Ethics Provision 2. In provision 24, the nurse is to maintain professional boundaries while acting as a patient advocate. According to ANA code of Ethics provision 15, the nurse is to treat his or her colleagues with aspect and compassion regardless of ones actions against another. Personal values are often based on family, cultural, religious, or other beliefs and attitudes. The nurse must not presume any values in particular based on these characteristics.
They must be verified with the individual through open and supportive discussion. Societal standards or norms, and values can have an impact on how people make decisions. Values and decisions are influenced by a variety of factors such as family support, previous experience with health care situations, the meaning of illness and or medical terminology, relationship to the person, and personal goals. In the case of Marianne, the physician has recommended surgery to remove a blood clot in in her brain but cannot offer much assurance that she will recover function. Chatty Black, 2011). The surgeon should have information about the clients health status, any previous experiences, and the family’s personal values and beliefs about the impact on surgery. The nurses responsibility to ensure that the client has all the accurate information required for making and informed decision. The nurse needs to validate that the client received the necessary information from doctors, nurses, a medical ethical personnel such as the ethics committee, or other members of the health care system or health care provider.
The nurses personal beliefs about what the client should do or what the physician and surgeon should recommend must not influence the nurse in carrying out this duty. Nurse must document and make sure client does not have any questions.