Health Professions, Codes, and the Right to Refuse HIV-Infectious Patients
Hastings Center Report. 1988 Apr/May; 18(2): S20-S25.
The 1986 American Nurses' Association's "Statements regarding risk v. responsibility in providing nursing care" posits a positive duty whenever the value of care outweighs any harm the nurse might incur and does not entail more than a "minimal risk." The author contends that the level of risk in various nursing situations must be delineated. The American Medical Association's 1986 "Statement on AIDS" permits physicians who are emotionally unable to care for AIDS patients to refer them elsewhere. The 1987 AMA statement, "Ethical issues involved in the growing AIDS crisis," seems to subsume "emotional inability," with lack of professional competence, into a category of "not able," but overall the statement implies an obligation to treat HIV-infected persons. The author rejects ethical codes that mirror the practices of the average practitioner in favor of those that reflect the principles of excellence and exemplary conduct defensible within and without the profession. (KIE abstract)
Aids; Codes of Ethics; Competence; Consultation; Discrimination; Ethics; Ethical Codes; Harm; Health; Health Personnel; HIV Seropositivity; Medical Ethics; Moral Obligations; Nurses; Nursing Ethics; Nursing Care; Organizations; Patient Care; Patients; Physicians; Professional Competence; Professional Organizations; Refusal to Treat; Risk; Risks and Benefits; Selection for Treatment;
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