ETHICAL DILEMMA OF PROLONGED LIFE AGAINST THE PATIENTS REQUEST 1 Ethical Dilemma of Prolonged Life Against the Patients Request October 31, 2013 ,
ETHICAL DILEMMA OF PROLONGED LIFE AGAINST THE PATIENTS REQUEST 1 Ethical decisions must be made every day in the medical field. There are many situations that may affect how a nurse or medical assistant may react to a patient’s decision or the decisions of the family of said patient. Yet one must know the difference between personal and professional ethics, and not let them get in the way of decision making when it comes to medical care. Ethics deals with standards of conduct and moral judgment. The major principles of healthcare ethics that must be upheld in all situations are beneficence, no maleficence, autonomy, and justice. Beneficence means promoting or doing good. Nurses and Medical Assistants work to promote their clients' best interests and strive to achieve optimal outcomes. No maleficence means avoiding harm. Nurses must maintain a competent practice level to avoid causing injury or suffering to clients. The principle of no maleficence also covers reporting suspected abuse to prevent further victimization and protecting clients from chemically impaired nurses and other healthcare practitioners. Autonomy stands for independence and the ability to be self-directed. Clients have the right of self-determination and are entitled to decide what happens to them; therefore, competent adults have the capacity to consent to or refuse treatment. Medical assistants must respect the client's wishes, even if they don't agree with them. Finally, justice requires that all clients be treated equally and fairly. Medical assistants face issues of justice daily when organizing care for their clients and deciding how much time they will spend with each based on client needs and a fair distribution of resources (Learning Express Editors, 2013). Medical assistants need to distinguish between their personal values and their professional ethics. Personal values are what medical assistants hold significant and true for themselves, while professional ethics involve principles that have universal applications and ,
ETHICAL DILEMMA OF PROLONGED LIFE AGAINST THE PATIENTS REQUEST 1 standards of conduct that must be upheld in all situations. Medical assistants thus avoid allowing personal judgments to bias client care. They are honest and fair with clients, and they act in the best interest of and show respect for them (Learning Express Editors, 2013). Since nurses and medical assistants address complex ethical and human rights issues on a regular basis, the American Nurses Association Board of Directors and the Congress on Nursing Practice first initiated the Code of Ethics for Nurses in 1985 to delineate the code of responsibilities and conduct expected of medical assistants in their practice. Nurses and medical assistants are held responsible to comply with the standards of ethical practice and to ensure that others also comply (Nursing World, 2012).
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