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Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing Practice

Ethical and legal issues have harmful consequences. Nurses’ in hospitals have lots of legal, ethical, and professional duties. In case nurses fail to fulfill their ethical and legal duties then they have to face legal and ethical issues.

Therefore, it is very much important for students to do nursing courses to have an understanding of the ethical, legal, and professional duties of nurses.

Everyone has various personal views about legal ethical issues in nursing. Their views are based on experiences of life, religion, education, and political affiliations.

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Ethics is basically a standard of moral judgment. It can also refer to a regulation which nurses should follow at the time of delivering care and services to patients. Nurses have a high level of responsibility towards patients and employers. It is very much essential for students to have in-depth knowledge of several ethical, legal, and professional issues. As they may have to face such issues or challenges during their career.

In this essay, we will lay more emphasis on ethical and legal issues in nursing. But before that, we will highlight the primary duties of nurses.

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Main body

Nurses constantly experience ethical dilemmas and legal issues during the course of their profession. These experiences are very challenging as they compel nurses to make immediate ethical and legal choices based on the interest of patients. Sometimes nurses have to face such circumstances where they need to maintain a balance between ethical and legal issues about specific medical processes.

There are a few ethical and legal responsibilities that nurses need to fulfill. Nurses also need to understand that patients have complex requirements because of which there may be ethical and legal conflicts. It is the ethical and legal issues that bind nurses into their profession.

Nurses have three primary duties these are the duty of autonomy, the responsibility of maintaining the confidentiality of patient information, and duty of care. Nurses for fulfilling all these duties should follow the principle of beneficence. In simple words, it means that nurses should act in patients’ best interests. These are both professional and legal duties of nurses. In case any laws or policies are breached than in such a situation nurses have to face legal and ethical issues.

During the year 2001, the need for more advice on ethical dilemmas has been recognized within the healthcare profession. Such need has been recognized considering the increase in legal cases and inquiries of the public. As a result, various Clinical Ethics Committees and Research Ethics Committees were established within Australia to provide comprehensive ethics support. Continuously changing values in society means that medical professionals should aware of new ethical issues. They should learn to respond to ethical and legal issues appropriately.

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The nursing profession has its own code of ethics. Nursing practices are regulated by strict disciplinary guidelines. In October 2001, NMC that is Nursing and Midwifery Council has established a few standards and requirements for nursing education in professional and ethical issues. The NMC is an enterprise established by Parliament for protecting the public`. It regulates the medical and nursing professional standards using the Register of Medical Practitioners (RMP).

The Register acts to permit the GMC to monitor entry to the profession only by accomplishing the standards needed to become a registered medical professional. The NMC provides guidelines related to the expectations of particular duties such as confidentiality, medical research obligations, consent rights, and autonomy.

As per guidelines provided by NMC, nurses must undergo education. Nurses also need to follow ethical standards for maintaining a license of nursing.  The NMC states that patients can expect professionals to consider all information confidential to improve trust.

Nurses or medical staffs cannot disclose information without consent other than in exceptional circumstances’ Nurses needs to work according to an instruction from doctors and employers. They need to exercise their own judgment. Nurses need to follow directions and adhering to the ethics of the team and the Code of Professional Conduct.

In simple words, nursing is governed by legal, professional, and ethical; frameworks. The main aim of the framework is to protect patients and assist nurses in delivering proper care.

Note: It is a sample essay written by experts. But students while writing the complete essay should include examples of legal and ethical issues in nursing. You can also include an example of legal and ethical issues in nursing case studies in your essay. It is a strategy which will help you in developing a positive impression on the professor.

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Nurses have a tremendous responsibility for delivering effective care to patients. They need to make sure that they are competent enough to deal with legal and ethical issues. The overall conclusion is that nurses are responsible for their own practice.

They should put all their efforts into fulfilling the needs of patients. It has also been found that if nurses do not act professionally then they have to face many issues. Continuous reflection is crucial for nurses to bring performance improvement.

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