Stories From the Operating Room: Moral Dilemmas for Nurses
Killen, Aileen R.
Nursing Ethics 2002 July; 9(4): 405-415
This article explores stories related by perioperative nurses when asked to describe ethical judgements and subsequent actions that affected patient outcomes. A total of 214 patient care situations were analysed for moral actions taken and moral outcomes achieved in the perioperative arena. Content analysis of the patient care situations revealed a wide variety of ethical issues. Concerns about informed consent and quality of care were the most frequently identified issues. Respondents reported that 7% of patients underwent unwanted procedures and that positive moral outcomes were achieved in 65% of situations. It is of concern that, despite the fact that more than two-thirds (69%) of the respondents reported undergoing ethics education, only 27% could relate a story of an ethical situation.
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