Nursing Strikes: An Ethical Perspective on the US Healthcare Community
Nursing ethics 2011 Jul; 18(4): 596-605
Recent labor disputes between registered nurses and hospitals in Minnesota, California, and Pennsylvania raise moral questions about nurses' professional obligations, nurses' right to collectively bargain to preserve or improve wages, benefits, and working conditions, and patients' right to medical care. Deontology and consequentialism focus too narrowly on nurses and patients, and thus ignore the nature of the healthcare community as a system of competing interests. When considered in this context, nurses' strikes are shown to be consistent with this system of competing interests, and thus are morally permissible.
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