Clinical Ethics in African Countries and Emerging Nurse's Role in Nigeria
Adejumo, A O
Adejumo, P O
African journal of medicine and medical sciences 2009 Dec ; 38(4): 311-8
Emerging trends in nursing have broadened the traditional scope of nursing practice with growing demands for ethical considerations in clinical judgments. Nurses are experiencing more ethical dilemmas in areas such as end of life issues, organ donation and transplantation, and truth telling among others. It is expected that these challenges will continue to increase and even become more complex. Despite this, the academic and professional preparation of nurses in Africa to cope with these issues is doubtful. The myriad of peculiar socioeconomic and political problems in many African societies present potential threat to the adoption of ethical standards in health care practice. Many health care workers including nurses attach little importance to consumer rights in making informed decisions in issues related to clinical care and research participation. The alleged participation of nurses in the inhuman treatment of the children recruited during the Pfizer's clinical trial of Trovan for cerebrospinal meningitis in northern Nigeria exemplifies this. Such conducts could reduce patients' worth as persons, and at the same time an indictment of nurses' moral sanctity. This paper reviews the current ethical challenges facing professional nurses in Nigeria. The concept and critical relevance of clinical ethics in giving adequate information to patients, relatives and other health workers upon which ethically sound informed decision making is done in clinical situations were highlighted.
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