Struggling With the Fragility of Life: A Relational-Narrative Approach to Ethics in Palliative Nursing
Abma, Tineke A.
Nursing Ethics 2005 July; 12(4): 337-348
In nursing ethics the role of narratives and dialogue has become more prominent in recent years. The purpose of this article is to illuminate a relational-narrative approach to ethics in the context of palliative nursing. The case study presented concerns a difficult relationship between oncology nurses and a husband whose wife was hospitalized with cancer. The husband's narrative is an expression of depression, social isolation and the loss of hope. He found no meaning in the process of dying and death. The oncology nurses were not able to recognize his emotional and existential problems. A narrative perspective inspired by relational ethics indicates that participants may develop a relational narrative that seeks good for all involved in a situation. In palliative nursing this entails open communication about the fragility of life and approaching death. In relational narratives, answers to these ethical dilemmas are co-authored, contingent and contextual.
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Abma, Tineke A.; Widdershoven, Guy A.M.; Frederiks, Brenda J.M.; van Hooren, Rob H.; van Wijmen, Frans; Curfs, Paul L.M.G. (2008-11)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 ...