Week 9 Discussion
Legal and Ethical Conduct
As emphasized in this weekâ€™s media presentation, all nurses
need to be familiar with the laws and regulations that govern their practice:
their stateâ€™s Nurse Practice Act, ANAâ€™s Nursing: Scope and Standards of
Practice, specialty group standards of practice, etc. In addition, basic
ethical principles guide nursesâ€™ decision-making process every day. ANAâ€™s Code
of Ethics and ANAâ€™s Social Policy Statement are two important documents that
outline nursesâ€™ ethical responsibilities to their patients, themselves, and
their profession. This said, there is a dilemma: The laws are not always
compatible with the ethical positions nurses sometimes take. This weekâ€™s Discussion
focuses on such a dilemma.
Review this weekâ€™s Learning Resources, focusing on the
information in the media presentation about the relationship between the law
Consider the ethical responsibility of nurses in ensuring
patient autonomy, beneficence, non-malfeasance, and justice.
Read the following scenario:
Lena is a community health care nurse who works exclusively
with HIV-positive and AIDS patients. As a part of her job, she evaluates new
cases and reviews confidential information about these patients. In the course
of one of these reviews, Lena learns that her sisterâ€™s boyfriend has tested HIV
positive. Lena would like to protect her sister from harm and begins to
consider how her sister can find out about her boyfriendâ€™s health status.
Consult at least two resources to help you establish Lenaâ€™s
legal and ethical position. These resources might include your stateâ€™s Nurse
Practice Act, the ANA’s Code of Ethics, ANAâ€™s Nursing: Scope and Standards of
Practice, and internal or external standards of care.
Consider what action you would take if you were Lena and why.
Determine whether the law and the ANAâ€™s standards support or
conflict with that action.
By Day 3
Post a description of the actions you would take in this
situation, and why. Justify these actions by referencing appropriate laws,
ethical standards, and professional guidelines.
Read a selection of your colleaguesâ€™ responses.
By Day 6
Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different
days in one or more of the following ways:
Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional
background information, evidence, or research using an in-text citation in APA
Share an insight from having read your colleaguesâ€™ postings,
synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
Offer and support an alternative perspective using readings
from the classroom or from your own research in the Walden Library.
Validate an idea with your own experience and additional
Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from
readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.
Expand on your colleaguesâ€™ postings by providing additional
insights or contrasting perspectives based on readings and evidence..
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