Ethical Considerations in Cross-Linguistic Nursing
Carnevale, Franco A.
Nursing Ethics 2009 November; 16(6): 813-826
This article reviews empirical evidence and ethical norms in cross-linguistic nursing. Empirical evidence highlights that linguistic barriers between nurses and patients can perpetuate discrimination and compromise nursing care. There are significant organizational and relational challenges involved in ensuring adequate use of interpreters by nurses. Some evidence suggests that linguistic barriers are particularly problematic for nurses when compared with physicians. A comparative analysis of nursing ethical norms for cross-linguistic nursing was conducted using the codes of ethics of the American Nurses Association, the Canadian Nurses Association, and the International Council of Nurses. Five principal ethical norms for cross-linguistic nursing were identified: (1) respect for the patient as a unique person; (2) respect for the patient's right to self-determination; (3) respect for patient privacy and confidentiality; (4) responsibility for one's own competence, judgment, and action; and (5) responsibility to promote action better to meet the needs of patients, families, and groups.
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