Dialogical Nursing Ethics: The Quality of Freedom Restrictions
Abma, Tineke A.
Widdershoven, Guy A.M.
Frederiks, Brenda J.M.
van Hooren, Rob H.
van Wijmen, Frans
Curfs, Paul L.M.G.
Nursing Ethics 2008 November; 15(6): 789-802
This article deals with the question of how ethicists respond to practical moral problems emerging in health care practices. Do they remain distanced, taking on the role of an expert, or do they become engaged with nurses and other participants in practice and jointly develop contextualized insights about good care? A basic assumption of dialogical ethics entails that the definition of good care and what it means to be a good nurse is a collaborative product of ongoing dialogues among various stakeholders engaged in the practice. This article discusses the value of a dialogical approach to ethics by drawing on the work of various nursing scholars. We present a case example concerning the quality of freedom restrictions for intellectually disabled people. Issues for discussion include the role and required competences of the ethicist and dealing with asymmetrical relationships between stakeholders.
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