Nowadays, it is the responsibility of nurses to have a clear understanding and awareness of professional values whose agenda is to promote safe, high-quality and patient-centered ethical care. Comprehension and perspectives held by a professional nurse affect the process of decision making significantly. Professional nurses are therefore required by the code of ethics to adhere to professional accountability, self-advocacy and nursing ethics entirely (Epstein, & Turner, 2015). Based on a given case scenario, this paper seeks to provide descriptive analyses of the principles of justice, beneficence, autonomy, and non-maleficence.
Scenario: Adult Oncology Unit
Response to Mr. Newcomb’s request
According to the scenario, Mr. Newcomb is suffering from stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Mr. Newcomb has been in a matrimonial arrangement with Mrs. Newcomb for 40 years, and hence they have to share intimate love. However, it seems that Mr. Newcomb has a mistress to whom he sees regularly. He requests that I should distract his wife to make it easy for him to meet the mistress. Based on the code of ethics for nurses, this wrong and unethical and does not adhere to professional accountability (Epstein, & Turner, 2015). Nurses are required to provide accurate information not only to the patient but also to their immediate relatives. It would be unethical, and any move to assist Mr. Newcomb in meeting his mistress would result in a breach of contract. I would, therefore, decline Mr. Newcomb’s request and cite the reasons as mentioned above, that, it is unprofessional and not ethically correct.
The provision of the nurse’s ethical code of conduct requires exclusive accountability, responsibility, and authority for nursing practice. It needs that each nurse has a right to make decisions or take actions that are restricted to the achievement of optimal care and health promotion. Inconsistency in this provision can result in severe consequences for my side. Besides, it is my obligation to articulate professional integrity, nursing values, and ascertain attainment of social justices in matters related to health (Epstein, & Turner, 2015). Granting Mr. Newcomb a right to meet his mistress behind his wife’s back does not achieve social requirements. Such an action can hinder me from upholding nursing values and professional integrity.
Principles of Medical Ethics
According to the principle of autonomy, Mr. Newcomb (the patient) has complete control of their intentions, thoughts, and actions that are needed to decide their health and any other medical procedure (Beauchamp, & Childress, 2001). The principle of autonomy guides nurses to obtain the patient’s consent or their immediate guardian or relative’s consent before making any decision. However, such a decision must be ethically correct and professionally upright. I used the principle of justice to ascertain the fair distribution of relevant resources, accord obligations and rights, provide competing needs and avoid potential conflicts (Grace, 2017). The principle of justice asserts that any benefit or burden associated with experimental treatments should be distributed equally to all members of society. It requires that a nursing practitioner must make sure that the current actions are fair to all individuals involved. It is essential to take into considerations potential conflicting behaviors in advance. My intent is always to do well towards my patients while maintaining my professionalism as required by the principle of beneficence. While conducting any medical procedure, I ensure that there is no harm caused to either the patient of others in the community.
Personal Beliefs and Values
My own beliefs and values are generally guided by nursing culture that has been impacted through intensive learning and practice. Personal ethics usually are governed by the belief-and-value system developed by any moral community, professional group or social group. Based on this belief-and-value system I was able to respond accordingly to Mr. Newcomb’s request. Despite the fact that I was aware that Mr. Newcomb would not be pleased by my decision, and by taking into account that he has special place in my heart, I was able to remain true to the course of nursing practice.
Strategies to Promote Self-Care
Reframe negative thoughts-according to nursing self-care; an individual is supposed to acknowledge the presence of negative emotions and feelings rather than suppressing them. An individual can, therefore, direct such negative attitudes towards other activities such as yoga, hypnosis or meditation.
Develop self-awareness- this is essential because it enables an individual to have a clear understanding of his or her weaknesses or strengths. It is useful in managing stressful events related to physical, activities, emotional and perceptions.
Maintain social support-on call assignments, and shift work can cause chaos in your life. To easily promote self-care, one ought to create an environment which is efficient towards improving social support and connection to the real world.
Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2001). Principles of biomedical ethics. Oxford University Press, USA.
Epstein, B., & Turner, M. (2015). The nursing code of ethics: Its value, its history. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 20(2), 1-10.Grace, P. J. (Ed.). (2017). Nursing ethics and professional responsibility in advanced practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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