Ethics in Nursing: Cases, Principles, and Reasoning / Edition 4

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Starting with detailed cases based on real life, the fourth edition of Ethics in Nursing introduces the principles, concepts, and reasoning needed to think them through. Changes in this edition reflect important developments in nursing, ethical theory, and nursing ethics. Among the expanded set of 64 cases, 22 have been significantly revised and 15 are entirely new. Reasoning skills and philosophical understanding are explained and illustrated in cases involving: nurses and clients; interprofessional relationships; personal responsibility for institutional and public policy; and cost containment, justice, and rationing. New material on ethical theory includes an illustrated explanation and defense of moral pluralism, a section on the ethics of care, and an expanded discussion of reflective equilibrium as a method of ethical reasoning. New topics include pandemics and care for SARS patients, elderly patients contemplating suicide, and workplace violence. As with previous editions, both the nursing and philosophical content are self-contained, making the book accessible to readers with little or no background in either. Ethics in Nursing provides practicing and student nurses with a useful introduction to the identification and analysis of ethical issues that reflects both the special perspective of nursing and the value of systematic philosophical inquiry.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Reviewer: Elena M Kraus, BS (Saint Louis University)
Description: "This book covers a wide range of ethics topics in nursing by weaving real cases of ethical dilemmas into the analysis, thus expounding on ethical principles and illustrating a method of practical reasoning. Instead of having a section of case examples, or putting cases at the end of chapters, multiple cases are presented throughout each chapter, with 21 more as a supplement for individual analysis. This is a significant update of the previous edition, published in 1992. "
Purpose: The primary purpose is to provide both practicing nurses and students with a practical introduction to analyzing ethical issues that engages both the special perspective that nurses have and emphasizes the value and practice of systematic ethical inquiry. Such a book must be applicable to current ethical dilemmas in medical practice, and this update makes the book more accessible and pertinent.
Audience: The intended audience is nurses and nursing students, although the book is written to be accessible to anyone with an interest in nursing ethics. The authors are well-rounded authorities on the topics covered in the book. Martin Benjamin, PhD, a professor emeritus of philosophy at Michigan State University, teaches philosophy, political philosophy, and ethics, including nursing ethics. Joy Curtis, RN, is a professor emerita at Michigan State University and has worked extensively in nursing ethics throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Features: While covering a wide range of ethical issues in healthcare and nursing, the book ties all topics to real-life cases. The book investigates ethical issues relating to the whole array of nurses' professional relationships. Three appendixes cover international nursing codes of ethics, what a patient can expect from nursing care, and cases for analysis.
Assessment: This is a comprehensive and practical ethics guide for nurses based on a clearly explained philosophical foundation. The revisions, additions, increased emphasis on moral pluralism, and 15 entirely new cases fully justify this fourth edition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195380224
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/8/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 4
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 529,446
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Martin Benjamin is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Michigan State University
Joy Curtis is Emerita Professor of Nursing and Emerita University Ombudsman, Michigan State University

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Table of Contents


1 Moral Dilemmas and Ethical Inquiry 3

1 Moral dilemmas in nursing 3

2 Ethical codes: uses and limitations 6

3 The fundamental question of morality 10

4 Ethical inquiry 11

5 Ethical autonomy and institutional-hierarchical constraints 22

2 Unavoidable Topics in Ethical Theory 27

1 Basic ethical principles 28

2 Comprehensive ethical theories 38

3 Moral pluralism 40

4 A comprehensive ethics of care? 42

5 Ethical reasoning 44

6 Ethics, law, and religion 51

3 Nurses and Clients 56

1 Parentalism 58

2 Deception 69

3 Confidentiality 77

4 Personal risks and professional obligations 83

5 Conflicting claims 89

4 Recurring Ethical Issues in Interprofessional Relationships 94

1 Conflicts between nurse and other health care providers 94

2 Nurse autonomy 107

3 Collaboration 118

4 Integrity-preserving compromise 122

5 Conscientious refusal 126

6 Determining responsibility 134

5 Ethical Dilemmas Among Nurses 138

1 Tensions between nurses 138

2 Respect for persons 146

3 Professional obligations 150

4 Administrative dilemmas 158

6 Personal Responsibility for Institutional and Public Policy 166

1 The scope of individual responsibility 166

2 Institutional policies and strikes 170

3 Institutional ethics committees 178

4 Blowing the whistle 182

5 Public policy: advance directives 188

6 Public policy: workplace violence 192

7 Putting it all together 193

7 Cost Containment, Justice, and Rationing 197

1 Cost containment and the claims of justice 199

2 Access to care 205

3 The concept of rationing 207

4 The Oregon proposal 208

5 Toward ethical rationing 213

6 Rationing and the importance of nursing care 219

7 The expanding scope of nursing ethics 221

Appendix A The International Council of Nurses Code of Ethics for Nurses 225

Appendix B The Patient Care Partnership: Understanding Expectations, Rights, and Responsibilities 229

Appendix C Cases for Analysis 233

Notes 249

Suggestions for Further Reading 269

Index 275

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