Theis, E. Charlotte
New England Journal of Medicine. 1986 Nov 6; 315(19): 1222-1224.
The author maintains that consideration of ethical issues from a nursing perspective must acknowledge that the multiple roles of the nurse as hospital employee, assistant to the physician, and patient advocate result in conflicting obligations and loyalties and in problems of conscience. Theis argues that such conflicts produce moral anguish for nurses, particularly for those in intensive care units, newborn nurseries, or nursing homes. She cites three cases where nurses felt obligated to act against authority and where the ultimate involvement of the law resulted in damage to all concerned. She points out that, because nurses possess a special understanding of the burdens and benefits of treatment to patients, they should be involved in decision making to promote the patient's autonomy, dignity, and best interests. (KIE abstract)
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