NUR 2868 Module 1 Discussion Professional Ethics What Would You Do?

NUR 2868 Module 1 Discussion Professional Ethics What Would You Do?
NUR 2868 Module 1 Discussion Professional Ethics What Would You Do?
Today’s health care environment gives nurses many reasons to
be conflicted. Genetic testing, abortion, and end of life care are just some of
the areas in which nurses may face ethical dilemmas. Consider how you feel
about the following issues:
Respecting the wishes of a suffering client that he is
permitted to die with dignity,
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Respecting the health surrogate’s wishes regarding
termination of life support,
Or even observing another nurse take two tablets of
oxycodone as ordered but keeping one for herself.
NUR 2868 Module 1 Discussion Professional Ethics What Would You Do?
Then give an example of an ethical dilemma you may have
confronted in your own clinical experience or workplace. How did you come to
the decision you made? What feelings did you experience while coming to that
choice? (If you have not yet faced an ethical dilemma, research one and comment
on it, answering the same questions.)
Professional ethics encompass the personal and corporate standards of behavior expected by professionals.[1]
The word professionalism originally applied to vows of a religious order. By no later than the year 1675, the term had seen secular application and was applied to the three learned professions: divinity, law, and medicine.[2] The term professionalism was also used for the military profession around this same time.
Professionals and those working in acknowledged professions exercise specialist knowledge and skill. How the use of this knowledge should be governed when providing a service to the public can be considered a moral issue and is termed “professional ethics”.[3]
It is capable of making judgments, applying their skills, and reaching informed decisions in situations that the general public cannot because they have not attained the necessary knowledge and skills.[4] One of the earliest examples of professional ethics is the Hippocratic oath to which medical doctors still adhere to this day.
Some professional organizations may define their ethical approach in terms of a number of discrete components.[5] Typically these include honesty, trustworthiness, transparency, accountability, confidentiality, objectivity, respect, obedience to the law, and loyalty.
Most professionals have internally enforced codes of practice that members of the profession must follow to prevent exploitation of the client and to preserve the integrity and reputation of the profession. This is not only for the benefit of the client but also for the benefit of those belonging to that profession. Disciplinary codes allow the profession to define a standard of conduct and ensure that individual practitioners meet this standard, by disciplining them from the professional body if they do not practice accordingly. This allows those professionals who act with a conscience to practice in the knowledge that they will not be undermined commercially by those who have fewer ethical qualms. It also maintains the public’s trust in the profession, encouraging the public to continue seeking their services.
Internal regulation[edit]
In cases where professional bodies regulate their own ethics, there are possibilities for such bodies to become self-serving and fail to follow their own ethical code when dealing with renegade members. This is particularly true of professions in which they have almost a complete monopoly on a particular area of knowledge. For example, until recently, the English courts deferred to the professional consensus on matters relating to their practice that lay outside case law and legislation.[6]
Statutory regulation[edit]
In many countries there is some statutory regulation of professional ethical standards such as the statutory bodies that regulate nursing and midwifery in England and Wales.[7] Failure to comply with these standards can thus become a matter for the courts.
For example, a lay member of the public should not be held responsible for failing to act to save a car crash victim because they could not give an appropriate emergency treatment, though, they are responsible for attempting to get help for the victim. This is because they do not have the relevant knowledge and experience. In contrast, a fully trained doctor (with the correct equipment) would be capable of making the correct diagnosis and carrying out appropriate procedures. Failure of a doctor to help at all in such a situation would generally be regarded as negligent and unethical. Though, if a doctor helps and makes a mistake that is considered negligent and unethical, there could be egregious repercussions. An untrained person would only be considered to be negligent for failing to act if they did nothing at all to help and is protected by the “Good Samaritan” laws if they unintentionally caused more damage and possible loss of life.
A business may approach a professional engineer to certify the safety of a project which is not safe. While one engineer may refuse to certify the project on moral grounds, the business may find a less scrupulous engineer who will be prepared to certify the project for a bribe, thus saving the business the expense of redesigning.[8]
Some corporations have tried to burnish their ethical image by creating whistle-blower protections, such as anonymity. In the case of Citi, they call this the “Ethics Hotline”,[9] though it is unclear whether firms such as Citi take offences reported to these hotlines seriously or not.
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