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


Life is short, and Art long; the crisis fleeting, experience perilous, and decision difficult.

Hippocrates, 5th Century BC

Practical questions such as Should this patient continue to be fed artificially? are rarely simply technical matters. They carry concerns of fairness, rights, compromised freedom and justice. We often speak of the moral dimension of practice but it is perhaps more accurate to regard moral matters as being so bound up with the technical and social aspects of caring that to separate them out as a discrete item for discussion is not easy and possibly not helpful. The work of nurses and other health care professionals entails human contact. Decisions about care are matters of judgement; these are clinical judgements which, of course, also involve the patient. ...

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