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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carmen S. Edwards, AAS, BSN, MSN (Odessa College)
Description: The authors discuss nursing ethics and apply ethical decision making and principles to numerous aspects of nursing practice. Their belief that "nursing is ethics" is well-demonstrated in the text. The case studies are useful and pertinent to the study of ethics in nursing.
Purpose: The purposes are to 1) provide an exploration of a wide array of nursing moral issues; 2) provide the study of ethics so that it can be used across the nursing curriculum in a school of nursing; and 3) stimulate the moral imagination of practicing nurses to incorporate ethical principles, theories, and decision-making skills into their practice. These are useful objectives since they apply to nursing education and to nursing practice.
Audience: The book is written for students and practicing nurses. Some content may need further explanations for students and some content is too basic for practicing nurses. However, most is understandable and relevant for the intended audience.
Features: The book provides the basics of ethical decision making and ethical principles. These principles are detailed within the chapters dealing with various nursing specialties, such as reproductive issues, issues with children, issues with adults, etc. These chapters help readers to apply the acquired knowledge to areas of nursing practice. The tables, critical thinking exercises, and case studies make the chapters come alive. Further, readers are frequently asked to evaluate their own feelings on various topics. This is an especially useful strategy when studying ethics. The only shortcoming of the book is its potentially overambitious goal to appeal to both students and practicing nurses.
Assessment: I am not aware of any other book dedicated solely to nursing ethics, although there are numerous books with chapters on nursing ethics that are worthwhile. I don't believe a nursing program would use this book unless it had a course dedicated to ethics. It reads well and is interesting and thought-provoking.