Etymology : juris (oral legal tradition and to functional applications of Law, to and in particular sets of facts ans circumstances); prudentia (one who behaves prudently or wisely because he has knowledge of the possible consequences of a particular action).
Ethics is a study of good conduct, character, & motives & is concerned with determining what is good or valuable for all people. It goes beyond personal preferences to establish norms & standards upon which individuals, professions & societies agree.
Within nursing, specific values & moral requirements are necessary to maintain the integrity of the profession. An ethical nurse will act & treat others in specific ways that are consistent with nursing norms & will be guided by more than personal preferences or values.
To become mature professionals who are able to participate effectively in the ethical dimensions of their practice, nurses must continue to develop a strong sense of their moral identity, seek support from professional resources & expand their knowledge and skill in the area of ethics.
Refers to the execution of duties associated with the nurse’s particular role. A nurse who acts in a responsible manner gains the trust of clients & other professionals. A responsible nurse remains competent in knowledge & skills & demonstrates a willingness to perform within the ethical guidelines of the profession.
If a wrong dose of medication is given, the nurse is accountable to the client who received it, the physician who ordered it, the nursing service that set standards of expected performance, & society which demands professional excellence.
Because ethical problems occur in situations involving people who have different approaches to “moral reasoning”, it is helpful if the nurse can sort through the various factors that influence a persons’ thinking.
Unanimously approved through BON Resolution No. 633 on March 21, 1984.
THE ICN CODE OF ETHICS FOR NURSES An international code of ethics for nurses was first adopted by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in 1953. It has been revised and reaffirmed at various times since, most recently with this review and revision completed in 2005.
PREAMBLE Nurses have four fundamental responsibilities: to promote health , to prevent illness , to restore health and to alleviate suffering . The need for nursing is universal. Inherent in nursing is respect for human rights , including cultural rights, the right to life and choice, to dignity and to be treated with respect . Nursing care is respectful of and unrestricted by considerations of age, color, creed, culture, disability or illness, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, politics, race or social status . Nurses render health services to the individual, the family and the community and co-ordinate their services with those of related groups.
For example, if you are a new mother, you probably would like to spend all of your time with your child; however, if you also must help provide support for the family, and that requires leaving the child to go to work, you have a values conflict.