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Common Themes in Nursing Codes of Ethics

I- Common areas of agreement among different nursing codes of


ethics (which are areas of agreement with other professional
codes of ethics) are:
1- The nurse's responsibility for practice competence,
2- The nurse's need for good relations with coworers,
!- The nurse's commitment to respect for the life and dignity of the
patient,
"- The nurse's responsibility for protection of patient
confidentiality
#- The nurse's moral position of nondiscrimination
II- The ICN Code of Ethics for Nurses:
The I$% interprets t he $ode of &thics for %urses to be:
' guide for action based on (alues and needs of society')
It ser(es as a practical aid in choosing priorities of action
It ser(es as the scope of such action in specific situations
in(ol(ing ethical *uestions or unethical beha(ior on the part of co-
worers and+or institutions)
A- Important aspects of nursing practice are grouped according
to:
1- %urses and people (those who re*uire nursing care)
2- %urses and practice (ethical standards for nursing practice)
!- %urses and the profession (implementing standards of nursing
practice and woring conditions)
"- %urses and co-worers (professional conduct))
B- Functions of a code of ethics
1- To foster and maintain ethical standards of professional conduct)
2- To regulate ethical professional conduct in(ol(ing three
elements: (alues, duties and (irtues)
a- ,alues as patient well-being)
b- -uties are usually broad in nature and include respect for human
dignity, preser(ation of self-determination and maintaining-
confidentiality
c- ,irtues: include character traits that are desired in the members
of the professional group) In nursing, this might be honesty,
compassion, truthfulness and personal integrity)
Professional issues
practice competence and relations with co-worers
conditions of employment
purpose of nursing profession and personal conduct
incompetence of other healthcare worers
responsibility of the nurse to de(elop nowledge and
standards for the profession
role and accountability of the nurse when -delegating
functions to others
Patient issues
respect life and dignity of the patient
uphold patient confidentiality
nondiscrimination against persons because of cultural
bacground, nationality, creed, race, color, religion,
socioeconomic status, gender, se.ual orientation or political
beliefs
safety of the patient/ safeguarding from harm
Societal issues
addressing and impro(ing the health and social needs of the
community
ethical guidelines for research
nurse's relation to the state and obeying laws of country
euthanasia and assisted suicide
C- Nursing Practice involves four areas related to health:
The ethical responsibilities of the nurse are clearly stated: to promote
health, to pre(ent illness, to restore health and to alle(iate suffering)
- !ealth Promotion:
0eans helping people de(elop resources to maintain or
enhance their health and well-being)
Its1 focus is 2directed toward maintaining or impro(ing the
general health of indi(iduals, families, and communities2
Examples of nursing actions that promote health include e.plaining the
benefits of good nutrition and e.ercise to a client and encouraging a client
to stop smoing)
"- !ealth #aintenance:
0eans helping people to maintain their health status)
Example, an elderly person in a long-term care facility can be taught and
encouraged to e.ercise to maintain muscle strength and mobility)
$- !ealth %estoration:
0eans helping people to impro(e their health after a health problem or
illness) Examples of acti(ities that help restore health are :teaching a
client to protect an incision and to change a surgical dressing, and
assisting handicapped indi(iduals to reach the highest le(el of physical
strength of which they are capable)
&- Care of the '(ing:
0eans comforting and caring for people of all ages while they are dying)
%urses carrying out these acti(ities at homes, hospitals, and e.tended care
facilities (hospice))
'- Patient)s %ights:
1- The right to considerate care, with full respect of patient1s
dignity, regardless of nationality, color, age, se., religion,
and disability (if any ))
2- The right to now the name of the physician, nurses, and staff
members in(ol(ed in the treatment)
!-The right to be seen by the consultant within twenty four hours from
admission and on a regular basis after that during the episode of
admission)
"-The right to now the physician in a language that patient understands
all the information about the case, diagnosis, and the treatment plan any
other instructions about the follow 3 up care)
# -$on(enient atmosphere should be pro(ided where patient can discuss
openly and in full confidentiality about illness)
4-The right to now the reason for any test or diagnostic procedures that
will be done, and who is going to do them and the right to now the
treatment and who is going to deli(er it
5-The right to now the nature and inherent riss of any procedure to
which the patient has gi(en consent)
6- The right to refuse signing the consent form for any test that he+she
feels does not ha(e information about)
7- The right to change his mind and to refuse the test that has agreed
upon)
18 -The right to limit those persons who would (isit or call during
admission, in accordance with hospital policy and procedure
11 -The right to refuse treatment after nowing and being aware of the
conse*uence)
12 -The right to e.pect his+her personal pri(acy to be respected
1! -The right to e.pect that all communications and others records
pertaining to him+her be ept confidential)
1"- The right to obtain any information or documents, such as medical
reports, sic lea(e, etc) as documented in the medical chart)
1#- The right to re*uest consultation or second opinion from other
physician(s) through the treating consultant guided by the hospital1s
administrati(e policy)
14 -The right to re*uest for a change of physicians as per hospital policy)
15 -The right to change or transfer to other hospital as per policy)
16 -The right to refuse to participate in 0edical Training program and
9esearch pro:ects) 'nd he +she has the right to withdraw at any stage,
from an on- going research in which the patient has been participating,
without the conse*uences that affects the care gi(en to him)
17 -The right to be discharged from the hospital, against the physician1s
ad(ice)
28- The right to choose the person who would represent him+her in
signing the hospital documents including release of information)
21-;hen discharged from the hospital, patients ha(e the right to ha(e
medicine prescriptions, follow- up appointment and all the information
and the training needed to be able to tae care of themsel(es at home ( if
case re*uires)
E- Patient %esponsi*ilities
1-To now and follow the law of <ingdom of =audi 'rabia and the
hospital rules and regulation as e.plained by the hospital staff)
2- To pro(ide accurate and complete information concerning the present
complaints, past illnesses and hospitali>ation, as well as other matters
relating to his + her illness)
!- To follow the treatment plan established by the physician,
including the instruction of nurses and other health
professionals as they carry out the doctor1s order)
"- Is responsible for the actions should he refused treatment or
not follow the physician1s order)
#- To notify the physicians, the ?ead %urse or the =ocial ;orer
representati(e of any dissatisfaction in regards to the care at the
hospital)
4- @e considerate of the rights of other patients and hospital
personnel, and assist in the control of noise, smoing, and other
possible sources of unnecessary disturbance and +or discomfort)
5- =how respect and consideration of other patients)