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Legal & Ethical Issues in Nursing Michelle R. Stelly Term I: Writing Project 2010 Mrs. VanIwaarden 10/11/2010 Nurses are subject to a plethora of legal, ethical, and professional duties which can be very challenging. These duties are generally considered to be to respect a patient’s confidentiality and autonomy and to recognize the duty of care that is owed to all patients. As nurses our duties are always professional, however there are legal implications if these duties are breached. We also must consider when it is okay as nurses to breach these duties and therefore ethical issues arise.

Ethics is a set of moral and practical guidelines that influences nursing decisions big and small. As nurses one of our main priorities is to advocate for our clients. An advocate is “one who expresses and defends the cause of another. ” (Ramont 42) In the nursing profession we advocate to protect our client’s rights. A client’s rights can vary from being responsible for their own care and making choices and decisions in that care, having the right to a nurse-client relationship based on trust and respect, to the nurse being responsible in making sure that the client has all healthcare services at their finger tips to get their needs met.Nurses must be fully aware of the moral and legal rights of clients to self-determination, and must ensure that clients understand their treatment options and the nature and consequences of any treatments they are undergoing. A nurse must be an effective client advocate by expressing assertiveness and recognizing and understanding the rights and values of the client.

Nurses face legal and ethical challenges on a daily basis, many of which are directly related to legislative changes regarding confidentiality issues.Issues of confidentiality have been apart of ethical nursing for decades, but significant legal changes have defined a greater need to maintain confidentiality. The introduction of HIPAA in 1996 led to the need for increased practices to protect the spread of confidential client information. This in turn gives the client the right to have privileged communication which is “information given to a professional person who is forbidden by law from disclosing the information in a court without the consent of the person who provide it. ” (Ramont 33) Confidentiality is a major legal issue in nursing in which we as nurses must adhere to.Nursing ethical issues today include questions about end-of-life care or the place of spirituality in nursing. Ethical issues on a day-to-day basis often involve client communication and advocacy.

Nurses are often the ones working closest with a client while administering ongoing care. Clients may express desires, questions, and fears with their nurse, and those sentiments need to be shared with the rest of the health care team. From working with unbiased compassion to standing up for clients’ rights, a nurse holds a wide range of responsibilities in addition to the actual physical work of caring for clients.


Select a scene from one of the four movies. Now rewrite it IN PROPER SCREENPLAY FORMAT using a character from one of the other movies. (i.e. What if Butch Cassidy had to fight in the waterfall challenge from Black Panther? What if T’Challa was the flight attendant in the Bridesmaids scene?)
WRITE A BRAND NEW SCENE! Don’t copy the text from the existing professional screenplay as Turnitin will flag this as plagiarism. Show us how rewriting with this different character changes the meaning and outcome of the original scene. Be Creative! (length can be from 2-5 pages)
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