Nursing Ethics. 1997 Nov; 4(6): 465-471.
An important part of the student nurse's training involves reflection on practice, as expressed in written assignments and seminar discussions. In this, students make use of material drawn from their work with clients. A key ethical question is, therefore: should clients' permission be sought by students for this use of case material in coursework assignments. This article examines in some detail the arguments both for and against seeking clients' permission and concludes that, in view of the principle of respect for autonomy, there is a moral obligation to gain consent. It is argued, however, that there may be legitimate exceptions to this.