Ethics for Nursing and Healthcare Practice

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Kath Melia

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    Acknowledgements

    In memory of Neil MacCormick, Regius Professor of Public Law and the Law of Nature and Nations at the University of Edinburgh 1972–2008. Neil was a generous and inspiring colleague, whose work on practical reason in law and morality changed my view on the relationship between law and ethics and has influenced my thinking in writing this book. I hope that Neil would have approved of the result.

    About the Author

    Kath Melia, Professor of Nursing Studies at the University of Edinburgh, is a sociologist and health care researcher. A graduate of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Manchester, she moved to Edinburgh to work in intensive care. Whilst working in the Nursing Research Unit at the University of Edinburgh on a study of ward organisation she completed a doctoral thesis on the occupational socialisation of nurses. She has a long-standing interest in the sociology of the professions and the nature of teamwork in the health care workforce. As an ESRC Research Fellow (2001–03) she studied the modernising of the NHS and its implications for the nursing profession as a managed occupation. Kath Melia has published in nursing and health care ethics.

    Acknowledgements

    First, my thanks to SAGE for the invitation to write this book; it has been an interesting task to bring sociology and law into what is essentially an ethics text. Thanks are due to colleagues at the National University of Singapore, who were generous with their ideas and time when, in 2009, I was fortunate to spend time as a Visiting Professor in the Centre for Biomedical Ethics to work on various projects, including the planning of this book. Especial thanks to Professor Alastair Campbell for the discussions we had, particularly those concerning the relationship between sociology and ethics. Also thanks to Dr Jacqueline Chin for many helpful discussions and for being a welcoming colleague with whom to share ideas and office space.

    At SAGE I had the pleasure of working with Alison Poyner again; my thanks to her for her faith in the book from the outset and for her wise advice, particularly on the matter of explicitly including law and sociology in the book. To Susan Worsey, my thanks for her timely conversations and enthusiasm in the early stages of the work. Particular thanks to Emma Milman and Alex Clabburn for their editorial skill and relaxed approach to getting this book into production. Lastly, my thanks to Katie Forsythe for seeing the book through to press.

    Once again, the Greek island of Symi has played its part in getting this work from the head to the page.

    Kath MeliaEdinburghMay 2013

    Additional Online Material

    This book is supported by an online resource with a number of free SAGE journal articles related to the book.

    These papers are related to the main themes of the book and provide an opportunity to read beyond the discussion in the book. Some of the papers branch out a little further and discuss research (Gibson et al.; Suhonen et al.) and inter-professional teamwork (Ewashen). The further references included in these papers will provide further scope for following up the themes of the book.

    Visit www.sagepub.co.uk/melia for free access to the following articles:

    Begley, A. (2005) ‘Practising virtue: a challenge to the view that a virtue centred approach to ethics lacks practical content’, Nursing Ethics, 12(6): 622–37.

    Cronqvist, A., Theorell, T., Burns, T. and Lützén, K. (2004) ‘Caring about – caring for: moral obligations and work responsibilities in intensive care nursing’, Nursing Ethics, 11(1): 63–76.

    Denny, D.L. and Guido, G.W. (2012) ‘Undertreatment of pain in older adults: An application of beneficence’, Nursing Ethics, 19(6): 800–09.

    Ewashen C. and McInnis-Perry, G. (2013) ‘Inter professional collaboration-in-practice: the contested place of ethics’, Nursing Ethics, 20(3): 325–35.

    Gallagher, A. (2007) ‘The respectful nurse’, Nursing Ethics, 14(3): 360–71.

    Gibson, S., Benson, O. and Brand, S.L. (2013) ‘Talking about suicide confidentiality and anonymity in qualitative research’, Nursing Ethics, 20(1): 18–29.

    Hanssen, I. (2010) ‘Utilitarian and common-sense morality discussions in intercultural nursing practice’, Nursing Ethics, 17(2): 201–11.

    Kangasniemi, M., Viitalahde K. and Porkka, S. (2010) ‘A theoretical examination of the rights of nurses’, Nursing Ethics, 17(5): 628.

    Krishna, L. (2012) ‘Best interests determination within the Singapore context’, Nursing Ethics, 19(6): 787–99.

    Krishna, L. (2011) ‘Nasogastric feeding at the end of life: a virtue ethics approach’, Nursing Ethics, 18(4): 485–94.

    Schneider, D.G. and Ramos, F.R.S (2012) ‘Moral deliberation and nursing ethics cases: elements of a methodological proposal’, Nursing Ethics, 19(6): 764–76.

    Izumi, S., Nagae, H., Sakurai, C. and Imamura, E. (2012) ‘Defining end-of-life care from perspectives of nursing ethics’, Nursing Ethics, 19(5): 608–18.

    Snellman, I., Gedda, K.M. (2012) ‘The value ground of nursing’, Nursing Ethics, 19(6): 714–26.

    Suhonen, R., Stolt, M., Veikko, L. and Leino-Kilpi, H. (2010) ‘Research on ethics in nursing care for older people: A literature review’, Nursing Ethics, 17(3): 337–52.

    van Thiel, G. J. and van Delden, J. J. (2001) ‘The principle of respect for autonomy in the care of nursing home residents’, Nursing Ethics, 8(5): 419–31.

  • Further Reading and Web Resources

    Law and Ethics
    Kuhse H., and Singer P. (eds) (2009) Companion to Bioethics. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
    Dimond B. (2011) Legal Aspects of Nursing (6th edn). Harlow: Pearson.
    Hope T., Savulescu J., and Hendrick J. (2008) Medical Ethics and Law: The Core Curriculum (2nd edn). London: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.
    Huxtable R. (2012) Law, Ethics and Compromise at the Limits of Life: To Treat or Not to Treat? London: Routledge.
    Mason J.K., and Laurie G.T. (2011) Mason and McCall Smith's Law and Medical Ethics (8th edn). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Sociology

    Useful discussions of sociology as applied to health care and the health care professions.

    Clarke, A. (2010) The Sociology of Healthcare (2nd edn). Harlow: Pearson.

    Ham, C. (2009) Health Policy in Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Nettleton, S. (2013) The Sociology of Health and Illness. London: Wiley.

    Scambler, G. (ed.) (2008) Sociology as Applied to Medicine (6th edn). London: Saunders.

    Websites

    British Medical Association: http://bma.org.uk/

    General Medical Council: www.gmc-uk.org/

    International Council of Nursing: www.icn.ch/about-icn/

    National Research Ethics Service, with links to sites concerned with ethics and research: www.nres.nhs.uk/

    Nursing and Midwifery Council: www.nmc-uk.org/

    The Health Foundation, an independent charity working to improve the quality of health care in the UK: www.health.org.uk/

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    Boyd K.M. (2002) ‘Editorial: the law, death and medical ethics: Mrs Pretty and Ms B’, Journal of Medical Ethics, 28(4): 21112.
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