Nursing Code of Ethics

Published: 2018-01-30 10:57:09
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The code of ethics is designed to ensure that nurses act professionally and the decision they make identifies with both patients and professional values. The code for ethics involves justice, fairness, truth and respect to autonomy when it comes to patients (Bodenheimer, Bauer, 2016). The nurse in this scenario has developed a caring relationship with the patient Mr. Smith and it may cloud the nurse’s judgment. However, despite the relationship with the patient the nurse is obligated to apply professionalism in the situation. The nurse is obligated to inform the patient about the seriousness of the situation. If the patient is discharged with a serious condition that will cause implications in his life the hospital might be sued including the nurse and the doctor. Thus the major roles of the nurse is to provide care to the patient, help the patient in decision making, communicate the patient issues to the doctor, and advocate for the patient’s rights (Bodenheimer, Bauer, 2016).. In the context, it is the duty of the nurse to provide at most cares to Mr. Smith. The nurse should also help Mr. and Mrs. Smith in making decision regarding the health of Mr. Smith. The nurse should also communicate the health issues and symptoms that Mr. Smith faces to the doctor. Lastly, the nurse should at all cost strive to protect and advocate the rights of the patient.

In the context, Mr. and Mrs. Smith have made the decision to go back home and let Mr. Smith enjoy the company of the family members before he dies due to severity of his condition. However, before they leave, the nurse discovers that Mr. Smith is coughing blood. Due to concern the nurse inquires given such symptoms have never occurred before, but the couple warns the nurse from telling the doctor. Mr. Smith has rights which are clearly stipulated under the AMA Codes of Ethics (James, 2013). He has the right to make decision regarding medical care, right to accept and refuse treatment, and right to formulate advanced directives. However, Mr. and Mrs. Smith have no right to direct or instruct the nurse not to inform the doctor of the new symptoms that Mr. Smith developed. It is however, the duty of the nurse to inquire and offer the best advice to Mr. and Mrs. Smith which will help them in making the decision. 

The nurse has the right to provide at most care to the patient. That includes ensuring the patient gets the right attention and medical care. Therefore, there is no justification for the nurse to withhold the patient information from the physician. It is thus critical for the Nurse to share the developing symptoms of Mr. Smith with Dr. Jones (James, 2013). The nurse will should thus chart the incident and report the issue to the doctor. The major reason is to ensure the hospital is aware of the developed issues of Mr. Smith. Withholding the information will put the hospital under serious circumstance where any individual who gats access to the information can sue the hospital for neglect (James, 2013). Also the new developments regarding Mr. Smith’s health may prove to be a breakthrough in improving the health of Mr. Smith. Also it would be morally incorrect and against the nursing principles for the nurse to withhold serious information regarding patients health. Such actions may result in termination of nursing license.   

References

Bodenheimer, T., & Bauer, L. (2016). Rethinking the Primary Care Workforce—An Expanded Role for Nurses. New England Journal of Medicine, 375(11), 1015-1017.

James, J. T. (2013). A new, evidence-based estimate of patient harms associated with hospital care. Journal of patient safety, 9(3), 122-128.

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