Nursing Ethics (nursing + ethics)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Essentials of Teaching and Learning in Nursing Ethics: Perspectives and Methods

Carol J. Leppa PhD RN
No abstract is available for this article. [source]

Toward a Moral Horizon, Nursing Ethics for Leadership and Practice

Steven Edwards

Killing for the state: the darkest side of American nursing

Dave Holmes
The aim of this article is to bring to the attention of the international nursing community the discrepancy between a pervasive ,caring' nursing discourse and a most unethical nursing practice in the United States. In this article, we present a duality: the conflict in American prisons between nursing ethics and the killing machinery. The US penal system is a setting in which trained healthcare personnel practice the extermination of life. We look upon the sanitization of deathwork as an application of healthcare professionals' skills and knowledge and their appropriation by the state to serve its ends. A review of the states' death penalty statutes shows that healthcare workers are involved in the capital punishment process and shielded by American laws (and to a certain extent by professional boards through their inaction). We also argue that the law's language often masks that involvement; and explain how states further that duplicity behind legal formalisms. In considering the important role healthcare providers, namely nurses and physicians, play in administering death to the condemned, we assert that nurses and physicians are part of the states' penal machinery in America. Nurses and physicians (as carriers of scientific knowledge, and also as agents of care) are intrinsic to the American killing enterprise. Healthcare professionals who take part in execution protocols are state functionaries who approach the condemned body as angels of death: they constitute an extension of the state which exercises its sovereign power over captive prisoners. [source]

The history of nursing in the home: revealing the significance of place in the expression of moral agency

Elizabeth Peter
The history of nursing in the home: revealing the significance of place in the expression of moral agency The relationship between place and moral agency in home care nursing is explored in this paper. The notion of place is argued to have relevance to moral agency beyond moral context. This argument is theoretically located in feminist ethics and human geography and is supported through an examination of historical documents (1900,33) that describe the experiences and insights of American home care/private duty nurses or that are related to nursing ethics. Specifically, the role of place in inhibiting and enhancing care, justice, good relationships, and power in the practice of private duty nurses is explored. Several implications for current nursing ethics come out of this analysis. (i) The moral agency of nurses is highly nuanced. It is not only structured by nurses' relationships to patients and health professionals, i.e. moral context, it is also structured by the place of nursing care. (ii) Place has the potential to limit and enhance the power of nurses. (iii) Some aspects of nursing's conception of the good, such as what constitutes a good nurse,patient relationship, are historically and geographically relative. [source]

Scepticism about the virtue ethics approach to nursing ethics

D.Phil, Stephen Holland MA (Oxon)
Abstract Nursing ethics centres on how nurses ought to respond to the moral situations that arise in their professional contexts. Nursing ethicists invoke normative approaches from moral philosophy. Specifically, it is increasingly common for nursing ethicists to apply virtue ethics to moral problems encountered by nurses. The point of this article is to argue for scepticism about this approach. First, the research question is motivated by showing that requirements on nurses such as to be kind, do not suffice to establish virtue ethics in nursing because normative rivals (such as utilitarians) can say as much; and the teleology distinctive of virtue ethics does not transpose to a professional context, such as nursing. Next, scepticism is argued for by responding to various attempts to secure a role for virtue ethics in nursing. The upshot is that virtue ethics is best left where it belongs , in personal moral life, not professional ethics , and nursing ethics is best done by taking other approaches. [source]

Ontologies of nursing in an age of spiritual pluralism: closed or open worldview?

Barbara Pesut PhD RN
Abstract North American society has undergone a period of sacralization where ideas of spirituality have increasingly been infused into the public domain. This sacralization is particularly evident in the nursing discourse where it is common to find claims about the nature of persons as inherently spiritual, about what a spiritually healthy person looks like and about the environment as spiritually energetic and interconnected. Nursing theoretical thinking has also used claims about the nature of persons, health, and the environment to attempt to establish a unified ontology for the discipline. However, despite this common ground, there has been little discussion about the intersections between nursing philosophic thinking and the spirituality in nursing discourse, or about the challenges of adopting a common view of these claims within a spiritually pluralist society. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the call for ontological unity within nursing philosophic thinking in the context of the sacralization of a diverse society. I will begin with a discussion of secularization and sacralization, illustrating the diversity of beliefs and experiences that characterize the current trend towards sacralization. I will then discuss the challenges of a unified ontological perspective, or closed world view, for this diversity, using examples from both a naturalistic and a unitary perspective. I will conclude by arguing for a unified approach within nursing ethics rather than nursing ontology. [source]

Three versions of an ethics of care

Steven D. Edwards PhD M.Phil BA(hons)
Abstract The ethics of care still appeals to many in spite of penetrating criticisms of it which have been presented over the past 15 years or so. This paper tries to offer an explanation for this, and then to critically engage with three versions of an ethics of care. The explanation consists firstly in the close affinities between nursing and care. The three versions identified below are by Gilligan (1982), a second by Tronto (1993), and a third by Gastmans (2006), see also Little (1998). Each version is described and then subjected to criticism. It is concluded that where the ethics of care is presented in a distinctive way, it is at its least plausible; where it is stated in more plausible forms, it is not sufficiently distinct from nor superior to at least one other common approach to nursing ethics, namely the much-maligned ,four principles' approach. What is added by this paper to what is already known: as the article tries to explain, in spite of its being subjected to sustained criticism the ethics of care retains its appeal to many scholars. The paper tries to explain why, partly by distinguishing three different versions of an ethics of care. It is also shown that all three versions are beset with problems the least serious of which is distinctiveness from other approaches to moral problems in health care. [source]

Towards a strong virtue ethics for nursing practice

Alan E. Armstrong rn(g) ba(hons) ma phd
Abstract, Illness creates a range of negative emotions in patients including anxiety, fear, powerlessness, and vulnerability. There is much debate on the ,therapeutic' or ,helping' nurse,patient relationship. However, despite the current agenda regarding patient-centred care, the literature concerning the development of good interpersonal responses and the view that a satisfactory nursing ethics should focus on persons and character traits rather than actions, nursing ethics is dominated by the traditional obligation, act-centred theories such as consequentialism and deontology. I critically examine these theories and the role of duty-based notions in both general ethics and nursing practice. Because of well-established flaws, I conclude that obligation-based moral theories are incomplete and inadequate for nursing practice. I examine the work of Hursthouse on virtue ethics' action guidance and the v-rules. I argue that the moral virtues and a strong (action-guiding) version of virtue ethics provide a plausible and viable alternative for nursing practice. I develop an account of a virtue-based helping relationship and a virtue-based approach to nursing. The latter is characterized by three features: (1) exercising the moral virtues such as compassion; (2) using judgement; and (3) using moral wisdom, understood to include at least moral perception, moral sensitivity, and moral imagination. Merits and problems of the virtue-based approach are examined. I relate the work of MacIntyre to nursing and I conceive nursing as a practice: nurses who exercise the virtues and seek the internal goods help to sustain the practice of nursing and thus prevent the marginalization of the virtues. The strong practice-based version of virtue ethics proposed is context-dependent, particularist, and relational. Several areas for future philosophical inquiry and empirical nursing research are suggested to develop this account yet further. [source]