Research Paper: Health Nursing Healthcare Perspectives Deontology

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[. . .] Early theorists include Wollstonecraft, Catherine and Harriet Beecher, and Perkins, who helped distinguish the moral development of care ethics (Cherry & Jacob, 2005). Other distinguished models included Gilligan and Kohlberg (Cherry & Jacob, 2005).

Diana Meyers is noted for writing one of the more well-known anthologies in care ethics today, providing philosophical idealisms including those of autonomy, universality, feminist moral theory and ideas on women and politics (Cherry & Jacob, 2005; Cowen & Moorehead, 2006). This suggests that the motivation to care for those that are dependent and/or vulnerable is inspired by memories of being cared for as well as idealization of self; some consider this type of ethical theory feminist in nature, or related to a mother type of ethical theory. Still others suggest it is more Confucian in nature, or related to the concepts of how animals may relate to their environment (Cherry & Jacob, 2005).

Care ethics establishes that there should be a framework for building a moral foundation where virtue and ethics is established on people, in independent and personalized relationships. In the nursing profession, this suggests that nurses should attend to and met the needs of those with whom they take responsibility (Cowen & Moorhead, 2006). This can be especially wearing on nurses, who already have an obligation to care for a large group of people. This would in fact, be like extending their personal family. This could be difficult depending on the field the nurse was working in.

The ethics of care values, emotions and relational capabilities that must enable morally concerned persons to work in this field would require an individual that was impartial in nature; someone that was free of bias and stereotypical thinking (Slote, 2007). Someone that was able to demonstrate compassion and universality, and someone that was not over-emotional to be able to discern the needs of individual patients while also demonstrating compassionate relationships and personal intimacy.

Rights Ethics

Rights ethics involves one's basic rights to ethical and standard treatment, including one's basic rights to confidentiality, autonomy, independence, decision-making, and right treatment (Cowen & Moorhead, 2006). This includes one's rights to basic care and legal representation where warranted and appropriate. Rights ethics in nursing has to do more with medical ethics and topics including beneficence, non-maleficence and respect for the autonomy of patients; rights ethics has to do with these basic "rights" of the patient (Cowen & Moorhead, 2006).

Rights ethics generally has to do with maintaining the rights of individuals; including their basic rights to their individual autonomy, their right to no-harm, and their right to justice. Basic rights assert the attempts of the nurse to exercise a relationship with a patient where the nurse attempts to build a working relationship with a patient. This relationship should be one where the nurse establishes the autonomy of the patient, and asserts the patient's right to dignity (Cherry & Jacob, 2005).

This can occur only where the patient has the ability to make certain choices regarding their care, and where the patient feels that they have control or as much control as possible over their environment when possible. In cases where this is not possible, the patient should have a right to assign who will or does have control over these factors (Cherry & Jacob, 2005). The nurse's role in these cases is to enforce, and sometimes reinforce these matters. There are many general rights that accompany ethics, including the right to informed consent. This includes the approval or agreement of the person or patient in the case of nursing, to certain standards or appreciation of the implication of certain treatments, or consequences of certain actions or non-action in certain circumstances. To provide informed consent it is necessary that the person consenting have reasonable skills to provide consent; meaning they must be of reasonable or sound mind to provide consent, or have appointed someone to provide such assent as necessary to provide informed consent to care or other treatment protocols.

Confidentiality is another common issue that arises with regarding to rights ethics, that a patient or other individual have rights regarding the information about them; and that information should not be shared without prior written permission unless there is a duty that involves the saving of said person's life. Observing such principles are critical to the preservation of right's ethics, and blend into other ethical standards observed in nursing care today.

Rights ethics are perhaps the most basic ethics and simplest ethics from which all other ethical standards are derived. If a patient is provided with basic rights, then one can expect that all their other needs will be provided. The key to understanding ethics is first to understand and undertake to define what one's basic rights are. This is something that has been continually argued since the dawn of time. This goes back to the very first argument or philosophical discussion regarding deontological and consequentialist theories, or the question of what is "right" vs. what is "good." What is a right? Is it one's moral independence or autonomy? Is it one's given "right" to decide their healthcare ability or choices? Even that in many cases is not guaranteed, as evidenced time and again. There are documents that one may sign, a bill of "rights" that patients are provided with when they enter a hospital, but this does not assert that what they want will always be carried out. So what is right's ethics? What are rights? Undoubtedly these are questions that will continue to plague men and continue to plague philosophers, theorists and caregivers, the people that care for the injured, sick and needy. The patients receiving care will also have to ask these questions as they continue to receive care, because rights are perhaps, not something that one or all can easily define. They are a question that remains uncertain.

References:

Cherry, B. & Jacob, S.R. 2005. Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends & management. Elsevier Mosby.

Chitty, K.K. 2005. Professional Nursing: Concepts and Challenges. Elsevier Saunders.

Cowen, P.S. & Moorhead, S. 2006. Current issues in nursing. Mosby Elsevier.

Kamm, F.M., 1996, Morality, Mortality: Volume II: Rights, Duties, and Status, New York:

Kamm, F.M., 2007, Intricate Ethics: Rights, Responsibilities, and Permissible Harms, Oxford:

Mack, E., 2000, "In Defense of the Jurisdiction Theory of Rights," Journal of Ethics, 4: 71-98.

McFadden, E.A. 1996. Moral development and reproductive health decisions. J. Obstet Gynecol

Neonatal Nurs 25(6):507-12.

Moreland, J.P. Ethics theories: Utilitarianism vs. deontological ethics. An excerpt from the euthanasia debate: understanding the issues. Retrieved: http://www.equip.org/PDF/DE197-1.pdf

Otsuka, M., 2006, "Saving Lives, Moral Theories and the Claims of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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