Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing

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Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing American Nurses Association Code of Nursing Ethics Ethics, as it relates to the nursing profession, deals with high standards of behavior, values, and moral beliefs. On a regular basis nurses have to address some very complex ethical and patient rights issues so therefore, the American Nurses Association established the Nurses Code of Ethics in 1985. This code summarizes the responsibilities and expectations of nurses in their practice. It is a solid structure for evaluating nurses own mutual skills and offers ethical standards of practice that encourages nurses to act morally, which includes acts of alliance (Garity, 2005). According to Garity (2005), “The nurse’s ability to collaborate with patients, families, and multi/ intra-disciplinary health care professionals in the successful resolution of such dilemmas can affect the quality of health care” (p. 11). The nurse has an ethical obligation to give every patient the same level of compassion, care, and respect regardless of the nature of the illness (Chitty & Black, 2010). Whether or not the nurse agrees or disagrees with the decision that Marianne’s family has decided on, the nurse must ethically abide by the family’s wishes and provide the highest quality of care for her. The nurse’s highest level of commitments is for Marianne at that point. Although competing demands of patient, family, and physician have risen, the nurse’s first priority is always providing care that ensures patient safety and protects the best welfare of the patient. A nurse is subject to a malpractice lawsuit if incompetent care results in patient harm. When a nurse cares for patients, he or she takes on the duties and responsibilities to care for the patient in a skilled and thorough manner. Nurses are expected to provide the same quality of care

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