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There is often a need to balance the potential for a treatment to do good and do harm, particularly when administering drugs with side effects, or in patients with complex care needs.
A system of principles governing the conduct of a nurse.
Nursing ethics deals with the relationship of a nurse to the patient, the patient's family, associates and fellow nurses, and society at large.
systematic rules or principles governing right conduct.
Each practitioner, upon entering a profession, is invested with the responsibility to adhere to the standards of ethical practice and conduct set by the profession.
Examples of non-maleficence include stopping a medication that is causing harmful side effects, or discontinuing a treatment strategy that is not effective and may be harmful.
Beneficence means 'do good', and promotes actions that benefit the patient.Examples include the use of warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation- warfarin helps prevent blood clots and stroke, but is associated with many complications and a risk of bleeding.Balancing the risks and benefits of a treatment course and implementing suitable precautionary measures are vital to ensure the ethical treatment of patients.Patients should make decisions regarding their care or act intentionally, without being controlled or excessively coerced.Nurses may try to influence patients to adopt a particular treatment strategy when that is the strategy with the strongest evidence base, but must not prevent patients making their own decisions.The number of core principles varies; however, four key principles are generally recognised: non-maleficence, beneficence, autonomy, and justice. Any action should not cause unnecessary harm or suffering to the patient and should be justified by ethical and professional judgement and guidance.This includes both physical and psychological harm.Ethical systems of care rely on a general agreement whereby specific activities are considered to be beneficial or detrimental to patient wellbeing.Ethical theories provide a framework for interactions with clients or service users.However, it is important to balance the potential positive and negative effects of a course of treatment.Relativism in ethical judgements is common in nursing practice, where there may be pros and cons associated with an action.