Professional, ethical and legal principles eLearning (6 hours)
Prior to completion of these activities please watch the video titled Introduction to Professional, ethical and legal principles (5 mins) which provides instructions for this week.
On completion of this eLearning resource, and following a period of study and reflection, you should be able to:
L1. Critically apply key ethical principles relevant to contemporary nursing practice
L2. Develop a critical understanding of the relationship between ethical principles and professional standards in nursing
L3. Critically evaluate the ethical, legal and professional aspects of a nursing dilemma
L4. Reflect critically on nursing practice in a way that demonstrates self-awareness as a reflective learner
L1. Activities (1 hour 20 mins)
Activity 1 (25 minutes): Read Chapter 1 – pages 5 – 16 of the following text:
Chadwick, R. Tadd, W. and Gallagher, A. (eds) (2020) Ethics and nursing practice. 2nd edn. London: Palgrave Macmillan. This text is available as an eBook on the UWS Primo One Search catalogue.
Please ensure you read through the example scenarios/case studies in this chapter as we may look back at them later.
Activity 2 (20 minutes): Now watch the following two clips from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) which provide a comparison between Utilitarianism and Deontology:
The trolly problem (BBC, 2014a) (kill 1 but save 5/ train track)
Kant’s axe (BBC, 2014b) (always tell truth no matter what the consequences are/ man with an axe)
• What are your thoughts on the two ethical approaches? Note down a few ideas to bring to the synchronous workshop for discussion.
In deontological approach, outcomes/consequences may not just justify the means to achieve it while in utilitarian approach; outcomes determine the means and greatest benefit expected for the greatest number. In brief, deontology is patient-centered, whereas utilitarianism is
Both utilitarianism and deontology deal with the ethics and consequences of one’s actions and behavior despite the outcome. To contrast utilitarianism and deontology, utilitarianism summarized is making the right decision followed by the right actions that has the best outcome for the largest number of individuals.
Take a break: stand up, move around, rehydrate.
Activity 3 (35 minutes): Page 12 – 13 of Chadwick, Tadd and Gallagher (2020) outlines the four principles approach to healthcare ethics and introduces the ETHICS framework (Gallagher, 2008) to support decision-making.
Using scenario 1 below, apply the four principles approach and the ETHICS framework to provide an analysis of what you might consider in this situation:
Scenario 1 – Doris, a 90yr old widowed lady, who lives alone, has been admitted to the acute medical unit for assessment of suspected unstable angina. Doris is intermittently competent, with a degree of dementia being present. On some days Doris can recognise family members and staff, and on other days she is clearly unable to and becomes confused. You are a student nurse on the medical ward where Doris has been admitted. Whilst on the ward, it is established that Doris is suffering from an infestation of head lice. Whilst carrying out fundamental care, one of the Health Care Support Workers asks you to assist her in washing Doris’s hair. Doris is visibly struggling against the act, lashing out and appears confused. Do you think it is reasonable under the circumstances to restrain Doris, to enable the HCSW to apply the anti-lice shampoo, as prescribed by the doctor responsible for Doris’s care? What would you do in this situation?