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Ethical & Legal Aspects of Nursing

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Ethical and Legal Aspects of Nursing
NUR 391
September 19, 2011 Ethical and Legal Aspects of Nursing Nursing is an ever-changing profession that responds to diverse and complex issues of health maintenance, protection of patient safety, human rights, and dignity. Professional nurses are in a unique position as patient advocates, regardless of practice setting. Nurse’s face inherent ethical decisions making, and they are frequently involved in the ethical decisions both personally and professionally when ethical reason both for and against the choice are both equally desirable (Pierce, 1997). The ANA Code of Ethics with Interpretive Statements offers a statement for every professional nurse’s ethical obligations and duties, ethical standard, and commitment to society (ANA, 2001).
Nurse must continuously meet standards of care and the ANA Code of Ethics and uphold fundamental legalities. Taking a closer look into the nurses ethical responsibility and fundamental legalities associated with direct patient care and as it would apply in the case study case study of patient Marianne, a 79 year-old female, who is admitted to the emergency department with hemorrhagic stroke, a grave prognosis of recovery and no advance directive. This paper will discuss legal responsibilities of the registered nurse as witness in a malpractice case of a nurse colleague found negligent in following standards of nursing practice. “The nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient who is the recipient of nursing care,” (Rushton, Dixon, & Wavra, 2005, p. 6). This quote applies to both nursing dilemmas discussed. The primary obligation of the nurse is to protect the patient’s best interest, maintaining safety, dignity and ethical accountability, which is essential in Marianne’s case, as she is neurologically unstable and unable to self direct care and is without a living will....

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