Nursing Ethics Essay

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Ethics in Nursing Overview According to Aiken (2004) “Ethics is the discipline that deals with rightness and wrongness of actions”. The goal is similar to that of the legal system except that in most cases there is no system of enforcement or ethical penalties. “General ethics is the consideration of the morality of human acts in general”. (Fitzpatrick 2002) In nursing, ethical issues arise daily. There are issues such as death, dying, birth, abortion, genetics, quality of life, and general human rights. The legal system and ethical system overlap in most situations. Every patient contact can produce a legal or ethical situation. Ethics is an area that changes with time. As our earth continues to evolve new ethical issues arise constantly. Now not only is there the ethical areas we have always dealt with there is now also environmental ethics which is reaching the health care field. Environmental ethics is the discipline that studies the moral relationship of human beings to the environment (Brennan & Lo, 2007). The articles in the May 31, 2007, OJIN topic, "Environmental Health: Important Choices for a Greener World," suggest the many ways in which nursing can be instrumental in advocating for a new awareness of the need for environmental ethics. Exploitation of the environment has exposed us to a wide variety of diseases caused by chemical, physical, biological, and psychological agents; and there is increasing evidence that global climate changes are already affecting human health. Thus, we must clarify the role nursing should play in a new era of environmental health activity. In this paper I will look at both Deontology and Utilitarianism, look at some similarities as well as differences and then I will discuss which one appeals to me and why. Deontology This form of ethics looks at morality by examining the

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