The relationship between legal and ethical issues in nursing

the relationship between legal and ethical issues in nursing

Use the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics and Interpretive .. Dilemmas in Rehabilitation: Where Ethics and Legal Issues Come Together. Email: Introduction. Laws and ethics are influencing nursing profession, which D. Aspects of nursing career to protect the employee and patients . In conclusion, this essay presents connection between legal and ethical. Nurses face daily ethical challenges in the provision of quality care. . (e.g., powerlessness, fatigue, legal consequences, psychological effects). . [Note: Correlation between mean frequency rating and mean stress rating is.

Some issues that have both ethical and legal components include: The Affordable Care Act is an example of a set of laws developed with a number of ethical issues in mind.

Due to preexisting conditions or simple unavailability, tens of millions of people have been unable to purchase health insurance at any cost.

The law addresses this inequity by requiring most U. The law also addresses insurances choices and costs, and puts into place certain rights and protections for consumers. Recall the ethical concept of distributive justice discussed in the previous section, which addresses the degree to which healthcare services are distributed equitably throughout society.

The Affordable Care Act also touches on the ethical principles of beneficence kindness and nonmaleficence do no harm by setting up affordable healthcare exchanges and plans.

  • Ethical and Legal Practice

The exchanges are an integral part of the complicated issue that is created when healthcare is mandated. It is based on the concept that mandating health insurance without addressing affordability would cause significant harm to individuals and families who are struggling financially Lachman, Although ethics attempts to identify all available options to a given problem and consider the implications of each option, the law often places limits on those options.

This intersection of the law and ethic often creates conflict and raises these important questions Porter, Which bioethical choices, if any, should be limited by laws? How much weight should courts and legislators give to bioethical arguments when creating new laws? What is the proper balance between individual rights to treatment and the cost and efficacy of such treatment? Porter, Ethical Conflicts and Dilemmas Ethical dilemmas arise when there are equally compelling reasons both for and against a particular course of action and a decision must be made.

It is a dilemma because there is a conflict between the choices. Usually one action, though morally right, violates another ethical standard. A classic example is stealing to feed your family. Stealing is legally and ethically wrong, but if your family is starving it might be morally justified Noel-Weiss et al.

When evaluating the alternatives, both courses of action have positive and negative elements. Working through an ethical dilemma until a satisfactory conclusion is reached, making decisions that lead to good actions, and avoiding negative consequences and regret are the foundational principles of ethical practice Noel-Weiss et al.

Legal, Ethical, and Political Issues in Nursing 2nd Edition

Sources of Ethical Conflict Research suggests that ethical conflicts are on the rise in the nursing field, due both to the increasing complexity of care and to scientific and technological advances. Several studies that sought to analyze ethical conflicts that arise in critical care units noted that the ethical conflicts experienced by critical care nurses stem from three main sources: Making the Right Decision Situations that create ethical conflicts highlight the difficulty involved in making the right decision.

Moral uncertainty Moral dilemma Moral distress In a situation of moral uncertainty the professional is unsure whether or not an ethical problem exists, or recognizes that there is such a problem but is unclear about the ethical principles involved.

Finally, moral distress is felt when the professional recognizes the ethical principles involved and knows the right thing to do but is constrained by something or somebody from acting accordingly.

The Ethical Decision-Making Process The primary function of a decision is to commit to some sort of action: Secondary uncertainty includes uncertainty about the situation, goals to be achieved, and available options or courses of action. Once secondary uncertainty has been reduced, commitment to a chosen option can occur. Novice Able to solve simple decision-making problems Slow and unreliable in recognizing problems needing decisive action Unable to identify a decision window Rudimentary ability to discern between important and unimportant features of a situation Unable to identify options in a hierarchical manner Advanced Proficient in using, finding, and defining decision-making concepts.

the relationship between legal and ethical issues in nursing

Can invent their own way of doing things Recognizes the need to make a decision in a timely and reliable manner Able to solve moderately complex decision-making problems. Tim is fit and slim, walks well with good balance, and is able to do his activities of daily living with some supervision. Three days after he was admitted Tim was found missing from his room when the nursing assistant brought dinner.

On this particular cold, dark, and foggy evening there were three nursing assistants and one licensed vocational nurse on duty acting as the charge nurse. The facility had 51 residents, some of whom had moderate to severe dementia, plus eight acute rehab patients. As soon as Tim was reported missing, a search was begun. Two of the nursing assistants refused to join the search outside because they were afraid of the dark. They also felt that they should not leave the rest of the residents alone.

The charge nurse, PT, and one nursing assistant began searching while the two remaining nursing assistants rummaged through drawers for flashlights. Five flashlights were found but all had dead batteries and no fresh batteries were available.

The charge nurse and the PT agreed not to call or notify the facility administrator or the family. They felt confident that they would quickly find Tim and get him back to his room for dinner.

After a search of about 30 minutes Tim was found on his back in a shallow stream next to the horse pasture that abuts the nursing home. He had fallen, slid under a barbed wire fence down a foot muddy slope and was stuck, unable to stand.

the relationship between legal and ethical issues in nursing

He was in jeans and a T-shirt; the temperature outside was 38 degrees. The charge nurse and the PT discussed whether to call but decided against it.

They used a doubled sheet to pull Tim up the slope and assisted him back to his room. He appeared to be unharmed. On Saturday morning, the PT, feeling uncomfortable about what had happened, called the state department of health and reported the incident.

She felt certain that if nothing was done that this would happen again. A representative from the state reviewed the incident but no action was taken against the facility. Questions Did the staff do the right thing when they found Tim missing from his room? Should the managers of the nursing home have equipment, policies, and procedures in place for these types of emergencies?

Ethical and Legal Practice | Florida: Laws and Rules of Nursing

In addition, this section addresses disciplinary proceedings. Part 2, Nursing and the Law, defines the principles of healthcare law, which are based on the political processes that influence the development or changing of laws.

the relationship between legal and ethical issues in nursing

This chapter includes sources for standards of care, and legal implications when deviations from the standards of care have been established. This section also reviews the role of expert testimony. Part 3, Nursing Ethics, defines the principles that influence ethical decision making. As healthcare practitioners, we can take an active role in the legislative and political process that can invoke change.

the relationship between legal and ethical issues in nursing

The legal system and ethics often conflict. Ethical dilemmas may present the law with complicated circumstances that are not addressed by the legal system.

This section assists the nurse in differentiating what is legal, but not necessarily ethical.

the relationship between legal and ethical issues in nursing

Part 4, Liability in Professional Practice, addresses legal doctrines and compensation for the injured parties. Procedures that can be implemented to reduce or eliminate negative patient outcomes and to protect the nurse and institution from being held wrongfully liable are addressed.

This section also reviews suggestions for nurses who may find themselves in a malpractice lawsuit, and provides a discussion of what to do when being deposed and how to be an expert witness.

In addition, this section discusses the importance of having professional liability insurance. Part 5, Professional Issues, discusses the issue of entering into a written or oral contract, and provides suggestions for contract disputes.

An overview of contractual law is presented with a focus on the needs of a nurse as an independent contractor.

Legal and Ethical Issues in nursing