Everyday clinical practice is steeped in ethical considerations, but discussion of ethics is often removed from these real-life situations. Kath M Melia's new book works in the gap between theory and practice. The chapters tackle the main theories which form the discussion on ethics, and include practical case examples, which bring these theories into the clinical context. These classic and everyday cases challenge the reader to critically reflect on his/her own experiences and outlook. The social, legal and professional regulation context is brought into the discussion throughout, to equip students with the knowledge that they need to make clinical decisions. Topics covered include: - Beauchamp and Childress' four principles of bioethics - Rights - Personal and individual conscience - Moral philosophy - The virtues/virtue ethics of the practitioner. This book will be essential reading for pre-registration nursing students taking modules in ethics and law. It will also be a valuable text for postgraduates and qualified nurses, and students of health who need to gain an appreciation of ethics. www.sagepub.co.uk/melia

Principles at the Root of Ethical Debate

Principles at the root of ethical debate

It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a Hospital that it should do the sick no harm.

Florence Nightingale, 1863

The aim of this chapter is to introduce four main principles that can be said to lie at the root of ethical debates in health care. Beauchamp and Childress, leading figures in bioethics,1 are the authors most associated with what have become known within medical ethics as ‘the four principles’. These are: beneficence, non-maleficence, respect for autonomy and justice.

Beneficence means to do good, and along with it goes the principle of non-maleficence, to do no harm. This second principle has a long history going all the ...

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