In an individual’s ethical development takes place through guidance and advice from within the community he or she lives in. Factors like family, religious teachers, peers and teachers at school contribute toward the development of personal values. Personal experience differ from individual to individual due to their culture and religion hence the outcome or solutions will be different for a similar type of situation. (Csongradi, 2010). The branch of study dealing with principles of right conduct is Ethics. (Purtilo & Doherty, 2010).
In the dictionary definition of ethics is “the discipline dealing with what is good and bad with moral duty and obligation” (http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/ethics). The American Nurses Association (ANA) have laid down definite standards and guidelines dealing with nursing responsibility and ethical issues in the Code of Ethics for Nurses. (ANA, 2012) Philosophy of Nursing and worldview I was born in India and served in the Military as a nurse, for nearly decade, the background I come from Honesty, family and ethics were imbibed at early stages of life.
In our culture respect for elders and teachers is of greatest importance. This aspect is seen in the joint family system that is common in India. In a close knit family the respect for elders, love and caring for the sick and old, affection, value of honesty and support both spiritual and moral, can be seen to the very core. The satisfaction and joy for caring for others especially the old and sick inspired me to choose nursing as a profession.
The basic philosophy of nursing all over the world is the same; however, individual morals, values and ethics play an important role in shaping the outcome. Values, Morals and ethics Ethical values and morals are often seen as behavioral rules in individuals and they are inter-related. The importance of values moral in the profession of nursing cannot be overlooked. Morals and values are the beliefs of individuals that have been developed through childhood teachings by family and society.
These form the fundamentals that give the ability to decide between right and wrong. (Navran, 2010). Many times when the nurse’s ethical values and morals influence their conduct this leads to conflict with nursing practices. One example can be of abortion, it becomes difficult for a nurse to be part of a decision making for abortion when his or her spiritual doctrine is against abortion. There are many such situations where the health care professionals are faced with ethical dilemma.
American Nurses Association has come to the rescue of the nurses, by formulating the Code of Ethics, this provides guidelines as to what is expected professionally out of nurses when their individual ethical values and morals conflict. (American Nurses Association, 2012). Moral and ethical Dilemmas Faced in Healthcare. In the health care setting the nurses responsibility and role is multi facet and have to deal from bedside care to teaching for self-care during discharge from hospital to advocating and leadership, and likelihood of facing ethical and moral dilemma is unavoidable.
Mostly these situations arise due to conflicts between right and wrong action / decisions or intentions to be taken. Some common dilemmas faced by health care providers are religious and spiritual based. Many religion do not advocate induced death either by human or drugs. Other issues are related to individual’s privacy and nurses are dilemma as to maintain the privacy of information of the patient or save the society from getting unwanted infection that could be fatal; this is most common with patients having AIDS or STD.
Invariably all such patients have multiple sex partners who in turn again have multiple sex partners and the number of persons that can be infected is unimaginable such a scenario is frightening and the nurse has to choose and make a decision to let the patient know (some are unaware) that he has AIDS or let his partner know. It is an ethical decision between patient rights or the good for the society. Conclusion The nurses commitment for the benefit of the society in terms of good and safe health help nurses make the right choice when faced with cultural and spiritual dilemmas. The Code of Ethics is of good help as it lays down guidelines to manage such situations.
Csongradi, C. (2010) Access Excellence, The national health museum. Retrieved on 28 Sep, 2012, from http://www. accessexcellence. org Purtilo, R. , & Doherty, R. (2011). Ethical dimensions in the health professions (5th Ed. ). Merriam-Webster online dictionary. (2010). Retrieved from http://www. merriam- webster. com/dictionary/ethics Codes of ethics for nurses. (2012). American Nurses Association. Retrieved from http://www. ANA. org Navran, F. J. (2010). Defining Values, Morals and Ethics. Palm Coast, Florida, USA.