Ethics nursing essays require students to analyze ethical dilemmas that nurses commonly encounter in healthcare environments. The body paragraphs should apply ethical principles and frameworks to thoroughly examine the conflict, weigh obligations and considerations, and present a well-reasoned resolution. Follow these tips to craft strong body paragraphs for ethics nursing essays:
Understand Assignment Instructions
Before writing, clarify the essay prompt and requirements from your professor. Key questions to address:
- What is the required word count or page length? This will dictate your level of detail.
- Should you focus on one major case study or provide several examples?
- Are specific ethical theories like utilitarianism or virtue ethics required?
- Is the goal an objective analysis or persuasive recommendation?
Understanding expectations will inform your writing approach. Tailor the essay to fulfill the assigned task.
Introduce the Ethical Dilemma
Start each body paragraph by clearly stating the ethical issue you’ll be analyzing. Provide 1-2 sentences explaining the nature of the dilemma from a nursing perspective.
For instance, a paragraph could begin: “One common ethical dilemma nurses face is whether to comply with a patient’s request to withhold a terminal diagnosis from family members against medical advice.” This introduction sets the stage for in-depth examination.
Apply Relevant Ethical Principles
Next, identify the main ethical principles or frameworks most applicable to analyzing this nursing dilemma. For the diagnosis confidentiality example, key principles would be patient autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and veracity.
Briefly define the selected principles and values. Then apply them to the specific case details, explaining alignments and tensions between competing interests and obligations. Cite scholarly sources where helpful.
Evaluate Ethical Considerations
Explain what makes this situation ethically concerning and challenging from a nursing perspective. Outline the morally troubling dimensions and implications involved.
For the diagnosis confidentiality case, considerations include patient rights versus duty to inform family and give proper counsel. Moreover, lives and relationships are at stake.
Discuss resulting benefits, harms, and risks for impacted groups. Apply evidence to illuminate the dilemma’s complexity.
Analyze Stakeholder Perspectives
Adopt the point of view of major stakeholders affected by the ethical situation. For a nursing essay, key groups often include the nurse, patient, family members, physicians, and hospital.
Explain legitimate fears, concerns, and considerations of each party. Elucidate why reasonable people might disagree based on differing stakes.
Propose an Ethical Resolution
Recommend a course of action for how nurses should ethically proceed, justifying your proposal with clear reasoning. Outline steps nurses should take to reach the most ethical outcome given the context.
For the diagnosis confidentiality case, this could involve counseling the patient on nondisclosure risks and seeking care team input before breaching confidentiality as a last resort.
Acknowledge plausible counterarguments against your proposed resolution. Treat critiques seriously and offer strong rebuttals grounded in applied ethical reasoning tailored to nursing values.
Demonstrating your ability to engage fairly yet defend your stance is key.
Conclude the Paragraph
Wrap up the paragraph by restating your overall argument regarding the original dilemma. For example, “Thus, under these principles, nurses facing this dilemma ethically should…” Synthesize your analysis into a coherent singular stance.
Additional Body Paragraph Strategies
Beyond a single case study focus, ethics nursing essay body sections could also be organized by:
Comparing Ethical Models
Dedicate each paragraph to explaining and applying a different ethical framework like deontology, utilitarianism, care ethics to the central dilemma. Contrast the models’ strengths and weaknesses.
Analyzing Case Examples
Use real-world ethical cases as springboards for examination in each paragraph. Draw on journal articles and news reports about relevant nursing ethics cases.
Evaluating Potential Solutions
Propose different potential resolution paths nurses could take for the main dilemma in each paragraph. Assess the ethics and feasibility of various options.
Examining Codes of Ethics
Apply the provisions and values from nursing codes of ethics published by the ANA, ICN, or NMC to inform your ethical analysis in each paragraph.
Here is an example body paragraph from an ethics nursing essay
One ethical dilemma nurses often encounter is whether to comply with a competent patient's refusal of treatment based on religious or cultural beliefs, even when foregoing treatment could result in harm or death. This situation creates an ethical conflict between respecting patient autonomy and the nursing duty to avoid maleficence.
Though competent patients generally have the right to refuse treatment, even lifesaving measures, this right has limitations when such refusals could cause objective harm (Beauchamp & Childress, 2013).
In analyzing this dilemma, the ethical principles of autonomy and nonmaleficence carry significant weight. Patients have legitimate interests in making healthcare decisions aligned with their personal values (Kelly et al., 2012). However, nurses also have a duty to avoid or minimize harm. Allowing foreseeable and preventable harm contradicts the nursing code of ethics (Fowler & ANA, 2015).
Though refusal of conventional treatment contradicts beneficence, patient well-being must be judged holistically, incorporating psychological and spiritual factors.
In such cases, nurses should thoroughly counsel the patient on consequences of refusal while respecting personal beliefs. Seeking second opinions and requesting ethics consultations can help determine whether compromises aligning principles are possible. While patient autonomy grants the right to accept or refuse treatment, it does not oblige nurses to assist in inflicting avoidable harm.
However, outright paternalistic coercion also fails to resolve the principles in conflict. With analysis and guidance, nurses can uphold both autonomy and nonmaleficence when patients' values lead to risky healthcare decisions.
Strong body paragraphs are vital to an effective ethics nursing essay. Thoroughly analyze dilemmas from diverse ethical angles, make interpretations grounded in principles and evidence, and connect to nursing duties. Showcase your critical thinking in complex situations while applying nursing values. These tips will help you demonstrate persuasive reasoning on multifaceted healthcare ethics topics.
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