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Case Study Using The Code Of Ethics For Nurses

1741 words - 7 pages

The Code of Ethics for nurses was developed to explicit the primary values, goals, and responsibility towards the nursing profession. It is used as a guide for carrying out nursing responsibilities in a manner consistent with quality in nursing care and the ethical obligations from nurses. The 1st provision states, “The nurse, in all professional relationships, practices with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth and uniqueness of every individual, unrestricted by consideration of social or economic status, personal attributes or the nature of the health problems” (American Nurses Association, 2001, p. 7). The 2nd provision states, “The nurses primary commitment is to the ...view middle of the document...

23). Lastly, the 9th provision states, “The profession of nursing, as represented by associations and their members, is responsible for articulating nursing values, for maintaining the integrity of the profession and its practice, and for shaping of social policy” (ANA, 2001, p. 24).
Mr. Corbett’s case demonstrates a noncompliance with the first provision statement of the ANA Code of Ethics. This violation occurs specifically with the first provision statement because all of the nurses should have supported the patient’s right to self-determination and autonomy. The nurses violated this rule when they forced various procedures and food upon Mr. Corbett despite his protests. The provision relates to providing caring, respectful nursing despite personal beliefs about the patient (ANA, 2001, p. 7). By forcing treatment on Mr. Corbett, the nurses diminished the importance of his right to make decisions about his own body. Although the nurses kept focused on the medical treatment goal for the patient, they had followed through with their actions without ethically looking at the case through the patient’s wishes. When ignoring the autonomy of a patient, the respect for human dignity is affected and interrupting the nurse/patient relationship.
The case also demonstrates proper compliance with the second provision statement of the ANA Code of Ethics. This provision statement deals with the understanding that the nurse’s primary commitment is towards the patient (ANA, 2001, p. 9). Ms. Kerns acted in the patient’s best interest and continued Mr. Corbett’s treatment, despite the rest of the staffs’ desire to give up on him. Despite the difficultly of Mr. Corbett’s condition and the inevitability of his death, Ms. Kerns made sure to keep her commitment to caring for Mr. Corbett the best she could, given the time and resources available to her. With maintaining the patient’s health in mind, Ms. Kerns spoke up for her belief and allowed her colleagues to understand that euthanasia was not an option for this case. This example showed that Ms. Kern’s action was towards fulfilling the job as a patient’s nurse by allowing no harm and doing what was thought to be fair for Mr. Corbett’s position.
A position statement is an explanation, a justification or a recommendation for a course of action that reflects ANA’s stance regarding the concern. The development process for position statements initially involves internal deliberation by the Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics (American Nurses Association, 2013). The ANA position statement of, ‘Nursing Care and Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) and Allow Natural Death (AND) Decisions’ under the topic of ethics and human rights correlates to Mr. Corbett’s case. Based off the American Nurses Association, nurses must advocate for and play an active role in initiating discussions about DNR with patients, families, and members of the health care team (American Nurses Association, 2013). When Mr. Corbett’s health showed...

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