Ethics: Nursing and Abortion
Working in the field of abortion isn’t an easy task furthermore participating in the abortion procedures. But the field of nursing you have to follow a code of ethics, a set of rules and regulation. Nurses have their personal opinions about abortion, but because they are health professionals and their opinions are sought as such, they are obligated to understand why they hold certain views. Nurses need to be clear about why they believe as they do, and they must arrive at a point of view in a rational and logical manner.
To assist nurses in this task, the ethical issues surrounding abortion are enumerated and clarified. To better off explain research on this ethical topic I’m going to further explain my research on my findings on both points of view and balanced both sides so you can get a better understanding. For those of you whose doesn’t know what an abortion is the proper meaning for it is, ending a pregnancy before the fetus (unborn child) can live independently outside the mother.
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If abortion happens spontaneously before 24 weeks of pregnancy, it is called a miscarriage. An induced (or “therapeutic”) abortion is caused deliberately in order to end the pregnancy. Working in that environment is certainly a sensitive one, regardless of your personal opinions or not you must undergo certain training to properly fit the job and follow protocol. Not only working in that surrounding a main issue but the ethics of abortion already another ethical dilemma.
There are many strong arguments about the issue for those who are in favor and against it but sometimes there is not proper training assigned to resulting in personal feelings conflict with the pre and post procedure affecting the patient and their decision. Classes on the principles of nursing ethics give the nurse the tools to base ethical decisions upon. However, this knowledge is then shaped by the values, beliefs and experiences of the nurse. Recent investigation and studies have showed there has been conflicts arising within that environment.
But in that particular circumstance there is not a wrong or right, but there is do the ethical thing without harm. To first start my paper I’m going to briefly speak about the proper ethical way to deal with the whole abortion procedure including there responsibilities as a registered nurse regardless of the circumstances and different environments. Some of the different responsibly according to nynsa, org are, the responsibility and obligation to provide competent and supportive nursing care (ANA, 2001, Provision #1 & #3). The responsibility to provide the patient with objective information and to offer access to resources before, during and after a voluntary termination of pregnancy (ANA, 2001, Provision #1 & #2).
* The responsibility to provide care without imposing personal beliefs on patients who choose to abort (ANA, 2001, Provision # 1 & #2). * The obligation for educational preparation, and the responsibility to obtain such, to assist and meet the emotional, physical and psychological needs of patients who are considering or have had a voluntary termination of pregnancy (ANA, 2001, Provision # 3, #5 & #7). The right to their own moral, ethical and religious beliefs (ANA, 2001, Provision # 1). * The right to refuse to participate in a voluntary termination of pregnancy, except in an emergency situation, where the patient’s needs do not allow for substitution (ANA, 2001, Provision # 4 & #5). * The right not to be subjected to coercion, censure or discipline for reasons of such refusal (ANA, 2001, Provision #4, #5, & #6). * The right and responsibility to seek employment in areas where the care of patient choosing abortions will not be assigned.
These are some of the responsibilities of being a Nurse within the termination field. Despite the protocols they must follow to prevent harm it’s not entitled to something may agree on. Remember nurses are being rotated on a day to day bases meaning they travel around the hospital working in different departments. Despite being pro- life or prochoice they must follow the ethical guidelines not only to keep their jobs and also comfort the patient in every way as possible.
Nurses need to be clear about why they believe as they do, and they must arrive at a point of view in a rational and logical manner. To assist nurses in this task, the ethical issues surrounding abortion are enumerated and clarified. To do this, some of the philosophic and historic approaches to abortion and how a position can be logically argued are examined. According to nursing connect. com, the nurses and social workers that were surveyed worked in a variety of settings including acute care facilities, ambulatory clinics and outpatient health centers. We did find that about 40 percent are frustrated and 40 percent are fatigued. One out of three feels powerless and the same even said they were physically ill. ” Many nurses believe that feeling conflicting in the decisions has took a toll on patients because attitudes justify a lot in decision making. In an article I read prior to doing my research a Nurses by the name of Ulrich quoted, “If one believes that they know the ethically correct course of action but are precluded from carrying that out, then patient care suffers in some way.
Ulrich believes that communication and broader dialogue on the subject will help to limit moral distress and the negative impact it has on health care providers. According to Ulrich again, “Improving the ethical climate begins with administration and managerial leaders. First, I believe they have to recognize that nurses and other health care workers are facing tremendous ethical challenges in providing care and encountering stress related to these concerns. To me, this only impacts the quality of care that is delivered. I do believe with the proper tools, communication, as well as lots of training they can create a better atmosphere and ethical comfortable environment they can focus less on the ethical problems their facing. Every nurse who speaks up when feeling ethical or moral distress is one step closer to eliminating the issue entirely. Recent research according to the school of political and social science, they create assessment basically having little committee regarding the questions and concerns of the nurses and survey says it has increased positively.
A lot of associations has been created in effort to reduce the ethical dilemma in the abortion procedure. One to be specific is known as the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) Position Statement on Abortion was in response to the increasing legislative activity concerning abortion law, as well as requests from the professional nursing community with regard to their rights and responsibilities and the rights of their patients pertaining to the issue of abortion.
NYSNA has, through the Council on Ethics and Human Rights, continued to study and research the issues surrounding abortion and reaffirms the position of the rights of women as patients and nurses. There’s many more ethical procedures a Nurse to follow according to the clinic or nursing guidelines. The nurse should keep the patient informed of all aspects of the procedure, provide a supportive presence, perform standard physical monitoring during the operation and afterwards, provide contraceptive counseling, and act as a sounding board or discussion of interpersonal relationships and future plans. High quality nursing requires understanding the physical and psychosocial aspects of abortion reflecting the nurse’s recognition of the cultural, religious, and socioeconomic factors involved. This requires a nurse who is fully aware of her own feelings and can adapt or defer them to the patient’s needs. In cases of suction or dilation abortions, these actions are particularly important, since the patient is in the hospital only a short time and can be easily ignored.
In cases of saline infusion, the nurse should be fully aware of possible complications, including retained placentae, hemorrhage, infection, or uterine perforation. If the patient is readmitted for any of these complications, the nurse should continue to play the informative, supportive role. The nurse and social worker should also be aware of the possible psychological sequel of abortion and watch for mental health problems. It is concluded that post abortion counseling is the best time for contraceptive counseling. Conscientious professional support along these guidelines should insure a positive experience for the abortion patient.
Ethics committees involve individuals from diverse backgrounds who support health care institutions with three major functions: providing clinical ethics consultation, developing and/or revising policies pertaining to clinical ethics and hospital policy. To conclude my research paper I hope you came out with a clear balance on the ethical dilemma involved in nursing with it comes to abortion procedures. Its takes a lot working in a field such of this when you’re pro-choice or pro-life but sometimes when you’re working in a certain settings there’s rules and guidelines that you must follow.
But you should never feel obligated to something that’s you’re not for but in this situation your personal opinion should be kept to yourself that’s why in turn they created association, committees, and clubs set up with ethical consultants that helps with your concerns sometimes even with your thought of guilt. Hope you came out with my paper not only with an open mind but also a balancing side to both sides. Of course this ethical dilemma isn’t something that can be changed overnight because it is a very sensitive topic.