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
Chapter 4: Individual Conscience Approach to Ethics
The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.
Blaise Pascal, 1670
This chapter takes as its point of departure a focus on the role of the individual's conscience in determining what is right and wrong in our own actions and those of others. In a broader philosophical sense we are talking about how we decide what is right and wrong and how to behave in accordance with that judgement. In the context of this book, we are concerned with rights and wrongs in relation to nursing practice. As we have said, ethics is not about dictating what is right and wrong, rather it seeks to examine how individuals work out what is right and wrong ...