The purpose of this thesis was to describe ethical problems in nursing as expe-rienced by the nurses. The task was to create a report for the work community of their ethical problems and disagreements of ethical values in nursing. We used previous studies and theory to support our research.
Types of Ethical Problems in Nursing
More than a decade ago, identified important ethical problems in nursing practice that included issues of cost containment, futility, and informed consent. Our data show that these and other issues remain concerns for nurses in today's environment. “Acting for the good of the patient is the most ancient and universally acknowledged principle in medical ethics” (, p. 73), but about a quarter of our respondents said that to some extent ethics stress influenced their current thinking about remaining in active practice.
As a profession, nursing is accountable to society
published exploratory work on what is known about ethical conflicts among nurse leaders. developed and tested a tool (Ethical Issues Scale) to assess the full range of ethical issues experienced by nurses in current practice and the frequency of their occurrences. Seventy-nine percent of the 934 nurses surveyed by the American Nurses Association Center for Ethics and Human Rights at the ANA Convention in 1994 reported confronting ethical issues in practice daily (43%) or weekly (36%). Over 50% of these nurses identified the following four issues as the most frequent: cost-containment issues that jeopardized patient welfare; end-of-life decisions; breaches of patient confidentiality; and incompetent, unethical or illegal practices of colleagues. Pain management, use of advance directives, informed consent for procedures, access to healthcare, issues in the care of persons with HIV/AIDs, and providing “futile” treatment completed the list of 10 (). Previous researchers, however, have not explored the type, frequency, and level of stress that ethical problems engender in nurses across practice specialties.
Ethics Topics and Articles - American Nurses Association