Human Rights and Nursing Ethics
Nurses can experience a difficult moment while trying to balance human rights and nursing ethics. Human rights comprise the rights of a person as a patient including right to life, respect, dignity, accept treatment, decline, and the right to die with dignity (Kangasniemi, Mari and Anne 1749). Conversely, ethical issues include beneficence and non-maleficence. They involve telling the truth, obtaining informed consent, maintaining confidentiality and respecting the decision of a patient. Ethical issues and human rights provide a moral compass to the nurses to work through difficult issues (Greenberger 655). For example, a nurse may experience a difficult moment while trying to provide treatment to a patient whose religion does not believe in blood transfusion (Lokugamage and Pathberiya 20). If the nurse decides to respect the decision of the patient, the quality of health may deteriorate and if a nurse goes against the decision it would be unethical for failure to respect the decision of a patient.
Human rights demand the welfare of a patient while nursing ethics emphasize on fair dealing. Nurses find themselves in a tricky situation when they have to balance ethics and human rights (Kangasniemi, Mari and Anne 1746). For example, human rights demand the right of a patient to decline treatment or care. The ethical guidance calls for non-maleficence which means nurses should do no harm to patients. In the event that an old patient wants to walk without supervision or the help of a nurse, it would be difficult whether to respect the decision or not (Greenberger 657). The reason is that respecting the decision may lead to falling which will be a way of causing harm or neglecting a patient thus causing harm. It is crucial to understand that the blend between ethical codes and human rights cannot provide absolute rules that are free of ambiguity and conflict.
Greenberger, Chaya. “Religion, Judaism, and the challenge of maintaining an adequately immunized population.” Nursing Ethics 24.6 (2017): 653-662.
Kangasniemi, Mari, Piiku Pakkanen, and Anne Korhonen. “Professional ethics in nursing: an integrative review.” Journal of Advanced Nursing 71.8 (2015): 1744-1757.
Lokugamage, A. U., and S. D. C. Pathberiya. “Human rights in childbirth, narratives and restorative justice: a review.” Reproductive Health 14.1 (2017): 17-25.