ethics

lesson patient dumping

A cold, hard lesson about patient dumping

A 22-year-old woman with Asperger’s syndrome was seen on a frigid night in January 2018 for a fall-related head injury in the University of Maryland’s emergency department (ED).…

America’s dark secret

Words about equality, friendship, and peace must be accompanied by action. (more…)

An ethical approach

Guidance for navigating complex healthcare dilemmas. From the joyous celebrations at the sound of a newborn’s first cries to the solemn moment when a patient takes their last…
ana news

ANA News

Center for Ethics and Human Rights recognized with prestigious Cornerstone Award The American Nurses Association (ANA) Center for Ethics and Human Rights has been honored with a Cornerstone…
thank you gift patient giving

Beyond a box of chocolates

Often, patients and families express their gratitude for a special nurse’s outstanding care with spoken thanks or heartfelt commendations written to a nursing supervisor. Some even offer a…
gift patient gratitude thanks acceptance

Beyond a box of chocolates

Often, patients and families express their gratitude for a special nurse’s outstanding care with spoken thanks or heartfelt commendations written to a nursing supervisor. Some even offer a…

Building moral resilience to neutralize moral distress

Moral distress occurs when one recognizes one’s moral responsibility in a situation; evaluates the various courses of action; and identifies, in accordance with one’s beliefs, the morally correct…
fire patient

Can you fire a patient?

The answer may surprise you. WHAT can you do with a patient who won’t comply with any of your directives? You’ve provided education until you’re blue in the…

Case study: Coerced consent

“Coercion is commonly said to invalidate consent, and that is always true if the source of the coercion is the physician.
compassion nurse virtue

Compassion: A nurse’s primary virtue

Strengthening compassion may help you avoid burnout. Nurses, we’re told, are fundamentally compassionate people. In fact, nurse burnout could be defined as the loss of compassion. So, it…

Concerns about calling out sick

I’m a new nurse employed in a hospital and would like to better understand a nurse’s responsibility around calling out sick. On the inpatient unit where I’ve worked…
Discontinuing medically administered nutrition

Discontinuing medically administered nutrition

Support patient’s values, beliefs, and goals.  Takeaways: Medically administered nutrition and hydration (MANH) is indicated for individuals with chronic, complex, or serious illness for whom oral nutrition is…
errors care bottom line

Errors, care, and the bottom line

Try a mock survey to ensure patient safety. PRESIDENT Calvin Coolidge once said, “The chief business of the American people is business,” but that was decades ago. Now,…

Ethics and global health outreach programs

Plan ahead to ensure a successful and respectful experience. Takeaways: Embarking on a global health trip includes both logistical and ethical considerations. Preparation before a global health trip…

Ethics case study: ‘Just watch them die…’

According to the Associated Press, a Brookdale Senior Residence facility* worker who identified herself as a nurse, refused to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to Lorraine Bayless, an 87-year-old…

Ethics for nurses in everyday practice

In recent years, most of the world’s people have celebrated their diversity: different races and languages, religions and cultures, and social mores. These differences are what make life…

Ethics in a pandemic

Disasters, including global pandemics such as COVID-19, disrupt standard care and present ethical challenges. Planning helps us prepare for disasters, but it can’t eliminate the ethical dilemmas and…

Ethics of bedside arraignments

I am a medical-surgical nurse and admitted a patient to my unit who was arrested and injured during the commission of an alleged crime. The hospital allowed a…
ethics inbox right try ant

From the Ethics Box: Right to Try

My patient is terminally ill. There may be a treatment, but it isn’t FDA approved. Do patients have a right to try investigational treatments, and what are the…

Going from the gut

The current emphasis on best practices, guidelines, and checklists make cause healthcare professionals to turn off their judgment and go by the book – even when it’s the…

Good intentions eclipsed

Leah Curtin discusses how negative effects of work on work/life balance and mandatory overtime affect patient care.

Healing the wounds: Quantum nursing V

Quantum nursing demands that nurses honor each person’s humanity, promote independence and autonomy, and offer the opportunity for individuals to redefine for themselves who they are and how…

Is political advocacy ethical for nurses?

I recently saw a political ad featuring a nurse using her name and licensed credentials to support a particular candidate and his views on healthcare. I was instructed…

Issues up close

For many nurses today, the workplace may feel like uncharted territory. New technologies, bold advances in health care, and a growing urgency to collaborate and innovate are changing…

Issues up close

Enduring and evolving: Code of Ethics for Nurses

Issues up close

Foundational documents underscore shared responsibility for staffing

Killing for profit

Reinforcing hospice’s valuable services after disturbing court case (more…)
leadership better leah curtain ant

Leadership: Making things better

According to the Huffington Post, “A recent survey by the World Economic Forum found that 86 percent of respondents believe we are suffering a global leadership crisis…. The world…

Lies and the lying liars who tell them

The impact of lying on individuals and society. While human history is rife with evidence of lying, never has lying been writ so large as it is today.…

Medical futility: A nurse’s viewpoint

Caring for a medically futile patient can be a wrenching emotional experience. Learn how to cope with the complex medical, ethical, and legal issues and help patients and…
medicare leah curtain

Medicare for all? Why not?

If President Trump really wants a healthcare plan that gives him a big win by covering all Americans, reducing insurance costs, and cutting the cost of healthcare, it…

Moral space

Understanding the problems of living and dying. (more…)

No peeking allowed

Electronic health records give healthcare providers faster, more efficient access to patient information. Experts hope to make the data less vulnerable to security breaches.
Ethics

Nurse responsibility in advancing global health

To: Ethics Advisory Board From: Volunteer RN Subject: Global health outreach With the recent earthquake in Haiti and the devastation that country has experienced, I feel compelled to…

Nursing ethics and shared governance model

Through shared governance, nurses are encouraged to participate in organizational decision-making to satisfy professional obligations. Incorporating ethical competence and professional development into everyday nursing practice is imperative to…
nurse ethics ana

Nursing ethics for the 21st century

In August 2014, ANA participated as a strategic partner with 50 nursing leaders who came together in Baltimore for a summit meeting on Nursing Ethics for the 21st…
pain management an ethical approach

Pain management: An ethical approach

ANA’s new position statement on pain management offers guidance When a federal law permanently expanded medication-assisted treatment (MAT) prescribing authority to NPs and PAs in October 2018 (with…
patients sleep ant

Patients need more sleep

By Leah Curtin, RN, ScD(h), FAAN “Sleep, gentle sleep that…knits up the raveled sleave of care.” —Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act II, Scene II As most nurses know,sleep disturbance is…

Problem of psychiatric patient ED boarding

Leaders can advocate for changes to reduce ED boarding and crowding. IN SEPTEMBER 2012, in Update 2 to the Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Hospitals, The Joint Commission published revisions…

Science: A universal source of ethics?

“It really doesn’t matter whether you are Muslim or Christian or Jew. In every religion, in every country, in every region at every time, there are some basic…
roe vs. wade

Secrets, lies, and cover-ups

The impact of the new healthcare bill can’t be hidden forever. By Leah Curtin, RN, ScD(h), FAAN As Newton observed, for every action in nature there’s an equal…

Sense of injustice

A sense of injustice is essential to the survival of the human race. Current events re-enforce the sense that some behavior breeches the social contract that professionals have…
succeeding complicated times

Succeeding in complicated times

Leadership success requires understanding that healthcare organizations are a world of connections. I WAS SITTING in my easy chair watching Monday night football when I experienced a tiny epiphany:…

Telling our story

The public needs a better understanding of what nurses do, so tell your story.

The ‘fake’ news effect

At some point the political questions of the day collapse. It’s the day the economic issues, and the immigration issues, the coronavirus issues, the race issues feel like…
giving time ant

The giving time

Real nurses nurture their young. By Leah Curtin, RN, ScD(h), FAAN My mother once told me that the first half of your life is all about acquiring things—an…

The practice of ethics

More nurses skilled in ethics are needed to help nurses cope with on-the-job ethical dilemmas.

Trust me. I’m a nurse

Reconciling trust, ethics, and caring. Takeaways: For 17 consecutive years, nurses have received the highest rating in the Gallup honesty and ethics survey. Individual nurse behavior can influence…
unconscious bias and the ehr

Unconscious bias and the EHR

I am a new RN working in an inner-city emergency department. Some of our patients are well known by the staff, who often describe them in conversations and…

We vs. they

Here, in the United States, a lot has been happening lately; the kinds of things that represent some of the worst problems that beset our world—ISIS, Syria, North Korea,…

What nurses owe one another

With all the concern about ethics today, little attention is paid to the way healthcare professionals treat one another. Nonetheless, the ethics of a profession delimit the role…
colleague imparied ant

What to do when a colleague is impaired

Recently I discovered a colleague on my unit impaired by substance use disorder (SUD). What should I do to protect patients from harm, while keeping the nurse’s health…
Tripping over the welcome mat: Why new nurses don’t stay and what the evidence says we can do about it

When good people make hard choices…*

Leah Curtin discusses the difficulty of making choices in health care and includes a challenging situation she experienced as a student.

When laws and nursing ethics collide

I live in a state that restricts access to certain healthcare services, and in some cases requires me to report things that will compromise the health of my…

You’re not necessarily entitled to your opinion…

Understanding the difference between fact and opinion Originally published May 17, 2017; updated August 6, 2021 Seriously, facts aren’t opinions…and all opinions are not equal. In today’s world of…

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