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Table of Contents
All nurses have four fundamental responsibilities, which are to promote health, restore health, prevent illness, and alleviate suffering. The needs for nursing are universal. Respect for the patients’ rights, particularly their right to choice, dignity, and life, should be inherent in the nursing profession. The nursing care is respectful and indiscriminative irrespective of the patients’ disability, illness, nationality, race, politics, social status, and sexual orientation. All nurses should abide by the Code of Ethics for Nurses and ensure that they follow the principles of beneficence, honesty, and autonomy in their practice.
There are nine obligations approved in the Code of Ethics for Nurses. The provisions were approved on June 30, 2001 in Washington DC. The provisions were passed by the Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics in the United States (American Nurses Association, 2001). The provisions pointed out that:
I have worked in vocational nursing for a period of two years. I have always admired to be in the field since I joined the university. The nursing code of conduct is a prerequisite in my profession, and I have tried to abide by it since my employment. The first case I experienced during my health profession involved a young teenager, fourteen years old, who was diagnosed with the peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The young teenager’s name was Thomas, and he had just joined college.
According to his parents, Thomas was a talented football player in his school. He was the team’s best player and captain. A few months prior to his admission in the hospital, Thomas started complaining that he was experiencing pains in his feet. Upon self-examination, his legs’ arteries seemed to have no pulses at all. His parents thought it was because of the intense exercise Thomas was practicing in preparation for the national competitions that were coming in a few weeks. The pains intensified one day during practice, and Thomas had to be rushed to the emergency room.
At the time, I was the nurse assigned to Thomas’s case. I performed an examination of his legs, and two hours later, I realized that Thomas was suffering from the PAD. His parents insisted on learning about their son’s condition first before I could tell the young teenager. Upon learning Thomas’s circulatory problem, his parents insisted that their son not be told about his condition. The father instructed me to tell his son that the pains were caused by an intense physical practice.
This was a lie that put my ethical code of professional on trial. The young football player could not understand why he had to be admitted for a month and miss the national high school football championship. Despite the assuring statement from me that everything would be fine, Thomas knew something was seriously wrong with his feet. During the third week at the hospital, Thomas insisted that his parents tell him what was wrong with him. After a revelation had been made, Thomas felt betrayed by me and his parents for hiding the truth from him.
Beneficence means performing good deeds to others. Beneficence sorts to promote happiness and welfare between people (The Metaphysics Research Lab, 2013). In most cases, beneficence is seen between two people who love each other. Nevertheless, it can also be evidenced among strangers. As part of their ethical code of conduct, all nurses must honor and respect their patients’ needs and desires. They should make the patients’ desires their primary concern. Beneficence has a limit. However, nurses have a larger responsibility than all other people for the well-being of all their patients.
Beneficence refers to acts of kindness, charity, and mercy towards others. It is suggestive of humanity, love, and altruism. It is the morally valuable trait or virtue delivered to benefit others. In the medical field, the acts of beneficence have at times been confused. Nurses have often confused the difference between what is really good for the patients and what nurses believe is good for their patients. In Thomas’s case, it was against the nursing code of conduct to conceal the truth of his medical condition.