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CODE OF ETHICS AND PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

THE ICN CODE OF ETHICS FOR NURSES

CODE OF ETHICS

Code of ethics is a set of ethical principles that are accepted by all members of a profession. A professions ethical code is a collective statement about the groups expectations and standards of behaviour .

NURSING CODE OF ETHICS

Nursing ethics state the duties and obligation of nurses to their clients, other health professionals, the profession and the community. Nursing ethics provide the standards for professional behaviour and is the study of principles of right and wrong conduct for nurses.

EVOLUTION OF ICN CODE OF ETHICS

Nursing profession uses codes for Nurses: Ethical concepts Applied to Nursing as its guide for professional conduct. This code is adopted and published by the ICN. The first such Code of Ethics, called the International Code of Nursing Ethics, was adopted by the Grand council of the International Council of Nurses at Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1953.

EVOLUTION OF ICN CODE OF ETHICS

It was later revised in Frankfurt, Germany in 1965 and then became known as the ICN Code of Ethics. The most recent revision in 1973 took place in Mexico and resulted in the present Code for Nurses. It has been revised and reaffirmed at various times since, most recently with this review and revision completed in 2005.

PURPOSES

Code of Ethics serve as a means of selfregulation and a source of guidelines for individual behaviour and responsibility. It can be used to prevent a nurse from practicing if her/his conduct is poor and clearly below the standards set by the Code.

PURPOSES

It can be used to protect the nurse who is falsely accused of doing something wrong. It helps teachers to know what must be taught in the education of the nurse. It can also be used as a guide for direction when a legal action must be taken in a law suit.

THE ICN CODE OF ETHICS FOR NURSES

An international code of ethics for nurses was first adopted by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) in 1953.

It has been revised and reaffirmed at various times since, most recently with this review and revision completed in 2005

Nurses have four fundamental responsibilities:


to promote health, to prevent illness, to restore health to alleviate suffering.

The need for nursing is universal. Inherent in nursing is respect for human rights, including cultural rights, the right to life and choice, to dignity and to be treated with respect.

Nursing care is respectful of and unrestricted by considerations of age, colour, creed, culture, disability or illness, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, politics, race or social status. Nurses render health services to the individual, the family and the community and co-ordinate their services with those of related groups.

THE ICN CODE The ICN Code of Ethics for Nurses has four principal elements that outline the standards of ethical conduct. ELEMENTS OF THE CODE 1. NURSES AND PEOPLE 2. NURSES AND PRACTICE 3. NURSES AND THE PROFESSION 4. NURSES AND CO-WORKERS

NURSES AND PEOPLE The nurses primary professional responsibility is to people requiring nursing care. In providing care, the nurse promotes an environment in which the human rights, values, customs and spiritual beliefs of the individual, family and community are respected. The nurse ensures that the individual receives sufficient information on which to base consent for care and related treatment.

The nurse holds in confidence personal information and uses judgement in sharing this information. The nurse shares with society the responsibility for initiating and supporting action to meet the health and social needs of the public, in particular those of vulnerable populations. The nurse also shares responsibility to sustain and protect the natural environment from depletion, pollution, degradation anddestruction.

2. NURSES AND PRACTICE The nurse carries personal responsibility and accountability for nursing practice, and for maintaining competence by continual learning. The nurse maintains a standard of personal health such that the ability to provide care is not compromised. The nurse uses judgement regarding individual competence when accepting and delegating responsibility.

The nurse at all times maintains standards of personal conduct which reflect well on the profession and enhance public confidence. The nurse, in providing care, ensures that use of technology and scientific advances are compatible with the safety, dignity andrights of people.

3. NURSES AND THE PROFESSION

The nurse assumes the major role in determining and implementing acceptable standards of clinical nursing practice, management, research and education. The nurse is active in developing a core of research-based professional knowledge.

3. NURSES AND THE PROFESSION

The nurse, acting through the professional organisation, participates in creating and maintaining safe, equitable social and economic working conditions in nursing.

4. NURSES AND CO-WORKERS

The nurse sustains a co-operative relationship with co-workers in nursing and other fields. The nurse takes appropriate action to safeguard individuals, families and communities when their health is endangered by a coworker or any other person.

BASIC ETHICAL PRINCIPLES

International Council of Nurses proposed some basic ethical principles. They are to be followed by each members of our profession. Ethical principles actually control professionalism nursing practice much more than to ethical theories

RESPECT FOR PERSONS

It directs individuals to treat themselves and other, with a respect inherent to mans humanness. It requires recognition on a sense that all share a common human destiny.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Accountability refers to the ability to answer for ones own actions. The nurse balances accountability to the client, the profession, the employer and society. Accountability means being answerable for acts carried out in the performance of ones professional role.

Domains of accountability

Professional accountability Organizational accountability Legal accountability Individual accountability

RESPECT FOR AUTONOMY

Autonomy is defined as the freedom to make prudent and binding decisions consistent with the scope of ones practice. It is also freedom to implement those decisions. Respect for anothers autonomy is fundamental to the practice of health care. It serves to justify the inclusion of clients in all aspects of decision making regarding their health care.

RESPECT FOR FREEDOM

Nurses as a group believe that patient should have greater freedom of choice within the nations health care system. This principle should be observed by staff nurses when planning patient care; by nurse manger when leading subordinates

BENEFICENCE

Beneficence refers to taking positive reactions to help others. The practice of beneficence encourages the urge to do good for others. It dictates that a person is obliged to help others to advance their legitimate and important interests. Commitment to beneficence helps to guide difficult decisions where in the benefits of a treatment may be challenged by risks to the clients well-being or dignity.

NON-MALEFICENCE

Non- maleficence is the avoidance of harm or hurt. In health care ethics it is important to remember that ethical practice involves not only the will to do good, but also the equal commitment to do no harm. The standards of non-maleficence promotes a continuing effort to consider the potential for harm even when it may be necessary to promote health.

VERACITY

Veracity concerns truth telling and incorporates the concept that individuals should always tell the truth. It requires professional care-givers to provide with accurate, reality based information about their health status and care or treatment prospection. Truth telling is an ethical concern for nurses, because truth is the basis for mutual trust between patient and nurse, and trust is the basis for patients hope of benefit from nursing services

JUSTICE

Justice concerns the issue that persons should be treated equally and fairly. This principle of justice requires treating others fairly and giving persons their due.

FIDELITY

Fidelity is keeping ones promises or commitments. The principle of fidelity holds that a person should faithfully fulfill his duties and obligations. Fidelity is important in a nurse because a patients hope for relief and recovery rests on evidence care givers conscientiousness.

CONFEDENTIALITY

Confidentiality is the duty to respect privileged information. The principle of confidentiality provides that care givers should respect a patient need for privacy and use personal information about him or her only to improve care.