Nurse Practitioners in Developing Countries: Some Ethical Considerations
Nursing Ethics. 1999 Jul; 6(4): 273-277.
One of the principles of health care ethics is the principle of justice. An important expression of justice is equity. The provision of basic primary health care services to all people is the key to eliminating the gross inequities in health status existing in many countries. For many years nurses in developing countries have 'led the way' in bringing these essential services to poor rural communities, including the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, and the prescribing and dispensing of medications. Nurses are the most appropriate health workers for this role, but most have not been prepared adequately for it. This is unsafe for patients and puts nurses at legal risk. Justice requires that patients should obtain access to safe health care and that nurses should receive appropriate education. Nurse practitioner programmes are being established to prepare nurses for this advanced practice role, but here again ethical considerations apply. Justice will be served only if nurse practitioner programmes are accessible to the nurses who are most likely to work in medically underserved communities where the need is greatest.
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Stark, Ruth (1996)Nurses are the health workers most frequently found providing primary health care services in rural communities throughout the world. In these settings, often with limited resources and far from professional support ...