Ethical Dilemmas Experienced by Hospital and Community Nurses: An Israeli Survey
Nursing Ethics. 1996 Dec; 3(4): 294-304.
The objective of this survey was to assess the extent to which nurses encounter and identify dilemma-generating situations in the light of the publication and circulation of the Israeli code of ethics for nurses in 1994. The results are being used as a basis for a programme aimed at promoting nurses' decision-making skills in coping with ethical dilemmas. In this era of major advances in medicine, the nurse's role as the protector of patient rights may bring about conflicts with physicians' orders, with institutional policies, or with patients' families. Nurses will then become confronted with ethical and moral dilemmas. A nationwide survey was carried out to identify and describe the ethical conflicts with which nurses in Israel are confronted in the course of their work. A third of the enumerated dilemmas were encountered by more than 50% of the nurses. The major determinant influencing encounters with dilemmas, as perceived by the participating nurses, was their work setting, namely, the hospital versus the community. It was shown that nurses seek support mainly among their peers, they are barely familiar with the Israeli Code, and they consider their own families as the predominant factor in shaping their ethical attitudes.
Attitudes; Clinical Ethics; Codes of Ethics; Coercion; Consent; Disclosure; Discrimination; Ethics; Family Relationship; Health; Hospitals; Informed Consent; Institutional Policies; Knowledge; Life; Medicine; Nurse Patient Relationship; Nurse's Role; Nurses; Nursing Ethics; Patients; Physician Nurse Relationship; Physicians; Professional Family Relationship; Prolongation of Life; Refusal to Treat; Rights; Social Discrimination; Statistics; Survey; Treatment Refusal; Truth Disclosure; Withholding Treatment;
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