Nurses demonstrate beneficence by helping people reach their highest level of wellbeing. Nurses often do have to perform procedures which make patients’ feel uncomfortable. A patent needs medication to relieve a symptom, however, in order to relieve a symptom, the nurse may cause discomfort.
Is it ethical to subject a child to an unproven procedure which will cause pain if it gives them their only chance of survival?
Is it best to prolong life when the quality of life is poor?
There are not enough health care resources available in the world. Nurses have a role in ensuring that distribution is fair.
Patients with various cultural backgrounds and personal experiences may present with diverse opinions of what is ethical.
The dilemma is how to balance the contrasting issues. Each patient, family, and healthcare team faces challenges such as this on a daily basis.
Larger challenges may be encountered while working with families who have newborns with physical or mental disabilities.
They are respect for patient autonomy; the duty to act with beneficence; no maleficence; and justice.
Nurses provide respect for patient autonomy by recognizing and enhancing a patient’s freedom of choice, respecting patient choices, and providing privacy.
Controversy arises over what is fair, equitable, and economically feasible.
Nurses are involved at every level of the healthcare system, making decisions, and assisting with policy development.