Theories in Nursing

8 August 2016

Ethical issues in Nursing Ethics play an important role in nursing. When caring for the most vulnerable nurses are faced with moral dilemmas often. Our backgrounds and beliefs may differ from that of our patient. This is why ethical principles are needed to guide nurses to do what is right. There are a number of ethical issues in nursing but this paper will focus on three which include principlism, deontology and utilitarianism. Nursing is strongly ruled by the principlism theory. This theory is even included in the nursing practice act developed by the American Nursing Association (ANA).

It is designed to protect those we serve by making universal standards. Principlism includes autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. As professional nurses we must practice with compassion and respect the inherent dignity, worth and uniqueness of the individual. That includes giving the patient the right to make decisions, doing no harm and providing fairness to all.

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The theory behind Kantian ethical deontology is that no matter what the end result we are morally obligated to do right. An example of this theory would be an understaffed mental health nurse dealing with a challenging patient who refuses to take an as needed drug.

Keeping the patient calm by providing an as needed drug anyway would make the nurse’s job much easier but ethically it is wrong. http://sevenpillarsinstitute. org/morality-101/kantian-duty-based-deontological-ethics The last theory that I would like to discuss is utilitarianism. A good example of utilitarianism is as it relates to the medical field would be a caring for victims during a natural disaster. Utilitarianism tells us to delegate resources to the greatest number of people, as opposed to expending our resources on one critically ill person that is unlikely to survive.

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