Invisibility, Moral Knowledge and Nursing Work in the Writings of Joan Liaschenko and Patricia Rodney
Nursing Ethics 2004 March; 11(2): 110-121
The ethical 'eye' of nursing, that is, the particular moral vision and values inherent in nursing work, is constrained by the preoccupations and practices of the superordinate biomedical structure in which nursing as a practice discipline is embedded. The intimate, situated knowledge of particular persons who construct and attach meaning to their health experience in the presence of and with the active participation of the nurse, is the knowledge that provides the evidence for nurses' ethical decision making. It is largely invisible to all but other nurses. Two nurse researchers, Joan Liaschenko of the University of Minnesota and Patricia Rodney of the University of Victoria, have investigated the ethical concerns of practising nurses and noted in their separate enquiries the invisible nature of critical aspects of nursing work. Noting the similarities in their respective observations, and with the feminist ethics of Margaret Urban Walker as a theoretical framework, this article examines the concept of 'invisibility' as it relates to nursing work and nursing ethics.
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