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 9: Virtue Ethics and Professional Regulation
Hamlet: What's the news?
Rosencrantz: None my Lord, but that the world's grown honest.
Shakespeare. c.1600, Hamlet, II, ii
Virtue ethics is an increasingly popular approach to ethical discussion in nursing and health care. The focus is upon the person of the practitioner and their virtues: integrity, competence, wisdom, kindness and so on. Virtue ethics focuses on the individual practitioner and their attributes, the idea being to think in terms of what constitutes the virtuous practitioner. The professional code and the underlying principles of nursing practice are important, but when an individual practitioner does not behave in line with ethical codes there are problems, potentially serious ones. The focus on the individual is appropriate when it comes to ...