Professional nursing is defined as “the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations” (ANA, 2017). In nursing clinical practice, ethical questions and dilemmas arise constantly. In order for nurses to practice their profession safely and competently, they need to be aware of their code of ethics, as well as the laws that govern their practice. There are many cases, however, where ethics and laws conflict, or the right course of action is unclear; in these cases, it is crucial to involve other members of the care team, or even an ethics committee or risk management if available, in the decision-making process. Scenario 1 The parents of a 5-year-old boy have accompanied their son for his required physical examination before starting kindergarten. His parents are opposed to him receiving any vaccines. Ethical Considerations In recent years vaccination is being perceived as unsafe and unnecessary by a growing number of parents despite being recognized as one of the most successful public health measures (Dube’, Vivion, & MacDonald, 2014). Anti-vaccination movements have been implicated in lowered vaccine acceptance rates and in the increase in vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks and epidemics (Dube’, Vivion, & MacDonald, 2014). Harmsen et al, conducted a qualitative study to try and understand the reasons behind parents’ refusal of childhood vaccinations (2013). According to Harmsen et al, various factors influenced the choice of parents to refuse vaccination including lifestyle and parental perceptions about the body and
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