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Code Of Ethics Essay

1699 words - 7 pages

A code of ethics is a set of written principles regarding conduct and behavior created by the organization to serve as a guide. The purpose of ethical codes is to give its employees, management, and any interested party a reference point that adheres to company policy, standards, and ethical beliefs. The code is made visible to the public to ensure professional integrity, quality, and to prevent misguided conduct. Regardless of the organization or governing body a code serves as a go-to guide because ethical issues can stem from anywhere at any given time. The Code of Ethics for Nurses is so dynamic because as technology changes, so does the code to ensure that updated knowledge is provided to healthcare workers as they address new ethical issues on a continuum. Contained in the nursing Code of Ethics is a myriad of topics, however, the topics of great importance to me are: autonomy, privacy, confidentiality, and acting on questionable practice (whistle blowing). These topics are outlined in further detail under Provisions 1, and 3 of the Nursing Code of Ethics.
Provision 1.1 in the Nursing Code of Ethics states that “the nurse, as a professional, should practice with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and uniqueness of every individual, unrestricted by considerations of social or economic status, personal attributes, or the nature of health problems (Association, 2005). “Respect for human dignity is a fundamental principle that views every individual as a person that has worth and value” (Association, 2005) and goes hand in hand with autonomy. It is easy to create biases when caring for people of different backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses, but it is essential that those persons are allowed to make their own decisions. (Thomas M.Garrett, Harold W. Baillie, Rosellen M. Garrett, 2001) states that allowing an individual to make their own choices, without coercion or manipulation grants them autonomy, and autonomy means that no human person has the authority or right over another (p. 29). The ethical dilemma regarding autonomy is what if the person is unresponsive and unable to voice their decision? Garrett, Baillie, and Garrett p. 30 answers this concern by saying that persons do not lose dignity because they are unconscious, in a coma, or out of contact with reality and that treating that person with dignity should still be in effect.
Autonomy applies to the profession of nursing because the patient should always be allowed to make decisions regarding their care while being treated with respect and dignity; however, autonomy can serve as a limiting agent when the patient decides to refuse care that would be of benefit to them. Autonomy is a sensitive issue because it allows the patient to choose to die and all health care can do from that point is allow the patient to do so comfortably. With healthcare always being one step ahead, it allows a surrogate to serve as a voice piece for that patient when they are unable...

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