Professional, Ethical & Legal Issues In Nursing Practice

3788 words - 16 pages

Singapore Nursing Board Standards for Nursing Practice defines that Nurses/midwives have the professional responsibility and accountability to uphold
Standard of care and to contribute to their dissemination, interpretation and development despite medical advances, social and demographic changes and an
increasingly complex healthcare delivery system that challenge the ability of nurses
to provide safe quality of care. Should nurses fail to uphold certain standards and by
doing so cause harm or injury to the client, they would be held liable in the tort of

Description of a practical situation which raised ethical issues:
Mr Lim 70 years old has been hospitalised for ...view middle of the document...

(Judson & Harrison, 2010, p. 101) Negligence is one of the most important torts and would enable patients who have suffered foreseeable harm as a result of a nurse’s carelessness to sue for compensation (Martin, 1996). A nurse or doctor could be negligent if a patient is harmed because of ignorance of well-accepted and well-know published nursing and medical research findings (Tingle, 2002). Hence both nurses and doctors are negligence and malpractice their professionals then cause Mr Lim suffered brain damage.
The tort of negligence means “a person suffered an injury to his or herself as a result of another’s act or omission, which fell below the expected standard of care” (Crisp & Taylor (2000), p- 427). “for someone to be found negligence in any situation, the claimant need to prove each one of the three essential components of tort, namely existence of a duty of care, breach of the duty and as a result of the breach, the victim suffers damage” (Corcoran (2000), p- 280 ). The fundamental principle of negligence is “that the party complained of should owe to the party complaining a duty to take care and that the party complaining should be able to prove that he has suffered damage as a consequence of a breach of that duty” (Staunton & Chiarella, 2003, p-36). Therefore nurse can be held liable for professional malpractice if their patients suffer harm from the treatment given.
Ethics is a systematic approach that uses as moral justification to define what should or should not to be done. Ethics is prescriptive; it refers to what we should do than what we actually can do. Ethics is relevant to all individuals and moral concepts, and principles and action guides should apply to all persons equally (Staunton & Chiarella, 2003). Ethics can apply to prevent negligence or malpractice. Beauchamp & Childress (2001) stated that the four major principles theories which establish prima facie obligations: which are autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice.
Autonomy is “the right to self-determination, particularly in relation to one’s right to consent to treatment and to receive information about one’s treatment” (Staunton & Chiarella (2003), p-29). Harris (2005) defines autonomy is the ability of a person to control their own life and to some extent their own destiny. He moreover mentioned that patients have the right to refuse and non-compliance is not unusual. However, Mr Lim was not received the treatment information and do not have a chance to refuse or decide regarding his treatment plan he received.
Beneficence means that acting in the patient’s best interest and to do good always (Hendrick, 2000). Beauchamp & Childress (2001) define the beneficence as a moral obligation to act for the benefit of others. According to Nursing and Midwifery Council Code (2002) stated that “the nurse is called to uphold and protect the patient’s interests and well-being, maintain and improve his/her knowledge...

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