Facing ethical conflicts and moral dilemmas are an everyday reality in nursing profession. Examples of ethical conflicts and moral dilemmas in health care are euthanasia confidentiality. These bioethical dilemmas are affecting health care professionals, specifically the nurses. The term Euthanasia is from a Greek word for “good death” and in English it means an “easy death” or the “painless inducement of quick death”. Easy death is divided into two categories; passive euthanasia, which involves doing nothing to preserve life and active euthanasia, which requires actions that speed the process of dying.
Dilemmas on euthanasia are terribly hunting the nurses as a profession. Ending a patient’s life by way of active or passive euthanasia is an issue relating the patient’s autonomy in choosing what’s best for himself. For the individuals has the dignity that attaches to personhood by reason of the freedom to take one’s own life. Euthanasia is such a difficult task of decision making with regards to the nursing profession.
For the major purpose of nursing care delivery is the pursuit of health, with the prevention of death and alleviation of sufferings as a secondary goal.
The American Hospital Associations Patients Bill of Rights rules 5 and 6 outline the individual’s right to privacy in health care. 5. The patient has the right to every consideration of his privacy concerning his own medical care program. Case discussion, consultation, examination and treatment are confidential and should be conducted discreetly. Those not directly involved in his care must have permission of the patient to be present. 6. The patient has the right to expect that all communications and records pertaining to his care should be treated as confidential.
Confidentiality is an important health care ethics of trust that patients place on nurses. A great barrier between nursing practitioners and patient would exist if the patient felt that information in regard to his or her body condition was the subject of release to publications. Fear of disclosure has in the past led minors with sexually transmitted diseases to suffer without care rather than to seek aid, knowing that the system required by the health care system is to notify their parents.
But before nurses will engage or participate in decision making concerning bioethical dilemmas, they should be competent enough in clinical ethics. For without clinical ethics competence, nurses will not be viewed as participants in clinical ethics and discussion and will not be valued by patient’s families and other health care professionals when discussing ethical discussion. That’s why they should be more knowledgeable about the interaction of ethical and moral issues that affect the institution and public policy decisions.
A sense of powerlessness and moral distress in nursing often leads to inaction rather than the leadership necessary to meet the patient’s needs for nursing and health care. Nurses have an ethical and legal obligation to be competent practitioners. Moral thinking and ethical awareness are aspects of competent nursing practice. Thus, if nurses are to be excellent nurses and participants in decision making, it is important that nurses should gain ethics and laws.