Tag: nursing ethics

Bioethics Blogs

When “neuro” met “ethics”

Two short words increasingly often appear in combination with names of professional fields and scientific disciplines: neuro and ethics. Here are some examples: Neuromusicology, neurolaw, neuropedagogy. Bioethics, nursing ethics, business ethics.

Neuro… typically signifies that neuroscience sheds light on the subject matter of the discipline with which it combines. It can illuminate what happens in the brain when we listen to music (neuromusicology). What happens in the brain when witnesses recall events or when judges evaluate the evidence (neurolaw). What happens in children’s brains when they study mathematics (neuropedagogy).

…ethics (sometimes, ethics of…) typically signifies that the discipline it combines with gives rise to its own ethical problems, requiring ethical reflection and unique ethical guidelines. Even war is said to require its own ethics of war!

In the 1970s, these two words, neuro and ethics, finally met and formed neuroethics. The result is an ambiguous meeting between two short but very expansive words. Which of the two words made the advance? Where is the emphasis? What sheds light on what?

At first, ethics got the emphasis. Neuroethics was, simply, the ethics of neuroscience, just as nursing ethics is the ethics of nursing. Soon, however, neuro demonstrated its expansive power. Today, neuroethics is not only the “ethics of neuroscience,” but also the “neuroscience of ethics”: neuroscience can illuminate what happens in the brain when we face ethical dilemmas. The emphasis thus changes back and forth between neuroethics and neuroethics.

The advances of these two words, and their final meeting in neuroethics, reflects, of course, the expansive power of neuroscience and ethics.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Understanding Ethics in Nursing

Nurses in all roles face ethical challenges. On a daily basis, they balance the wants and needs of patients, families, communities, and health care institutions, while living out the values of compassionate and respectful care for all.

 

At the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, ethics are at the core of our teaching, research, and practice. We celebrate the legacy of Isabel Hampton Robb, first superintendent of nurses at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and principal of the nurse training school, who laid the foundation for all nurses to come as the author of the first U.S. nursing ethics textbook.

 

Because of Robb’s though-provoking ideas, nurses have a guide for ethically-grounded care, and Hopkins remains a leader in defining the blueprint of nursing ethics in the 21st century.

 

for more videos in the Isabel Hampton Robb Nursing Ethics Video Series.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Public health campaigns in healthcare: mothers should breastfeed!

Public health campaigns do to some extent infringe upon our lives. Maybe we are prepared to allow some of these intrusions. We protest a little, just for show, but still adopt the message and begin to think that we probably ought to eat a little more X and a little less Y.

Some campaigns, however, encroach on sensitive areas of life, in more vulnerable situations, and in places where one would expect more personal respect.

Campaigns to encourage mothers to breastfeed, instead of giving infant formula, provide an example. These campaigns occur not least in healthcare, in contacts with new mothers who for various reasons may have difficulties with breastfeeding, or who don’t want to breastfeed.

Earlier this year, Jessica Nihlén Fahlquist had an article published in Nursing Ethics about such mothers’ experiences. It’s about mothers who don’t breastfeed and about their experiences of contacts with healthcare and being met with campaigning.

The survey responses described in the article suggest that these mothers can feel like bad mothers. They are told that breastfeeding is the best and safest option for the child, that all mothers can breastfeed if they just try, and that “artificial” formula feeding increases the risk of malnutrition and various diseases in the child.

The mothers feel that they don’t get opportunity to talk about their problems or desires to find a way of feeding their child that works for them. Might not bottle feeding be the better option for some mothers and children? The information seems, to a great extent, to be about communicating the norm that a real mother should breastfeed.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

A Path towards Moral Resilience in Nursing

By Peter Young

 

What should nurses do in the face of adversity and moral distress? Moral distress, the response to situations that imperil the integrity of nurses because of institutional constraints or pressures, is a form of moral suffering.  After nearly 30 years of research into moral distress there are still no clear-cut answers about how to reduce its detrimental impact on nurses, teams and institutions.  In an attempt to rectify this, 46 nurse leaders came together on August 11 and 12 to participate in a State of the Science Symposium entitled “Transforming Moral Distress to Moral Resiliency in Nursing.” This effort, hosted by the American Journal of Nursing, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, and the Berman Institute of Bioethics and co-led by our own Dr. Cynda Rushton, featured many of the brightest minds within nursing ethics. The two-day meeting, attended by nurse ethicists and leaders in nursing and health care, will help advance effective solutions to address moral distress and build moral resilience. “It is a pivotal time to design solutions to the recalcitrant problem of moral distress in nursing and healthcare.” Says Dr. Cynda Rushton.  “The roadmap for addressing moral distress, focusing on the dynamic interplay between individuals and the environments where they practice, offers promising solutions and hope for the future.”

 

To better understand the goals of the symposium, imagine a hypothetical ICU nurse, Sarah, who is working with a terminally-ill patient, the family of whom would like to pursue every medical option possible including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), although it may not be medically indicated.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Nursing Pioneer Sister Simone Roach Created Theory of Caring

July 18, 2016

(The Globe and Mail) – A pioneer in nursing ethics who developed an influential theory of caring, Sister Simone Roach was credited for establishing the first code of ethics for nurses in Canada and inspiring generations of nurses. In 1980, Sister Simone, who died on July 2 in Antigonish, N.S., at the age of 93, was called upon to oversee the development of a code of ethics for registered nurses in Canada. Having spent nine years building the nursing department at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, as the department’s chair, she was considered an influential nursing educator and perfect for the job.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

A New Edition of Nursing Ethics Is Now Available

May 11, 2016

Nursing Ethics (vol. 23, no. 2, 2016) is available online by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Effectiveness of Narrative Pedagogy in Developing Student Nurses’ Advocacy Role” by Priscilla K. Gazarian, Lauren M. Fernberg, and Kelly D. Sheehan
  • “Nothing to Complain About? Residents’ and Relatives’ Views on a ‘Good Life’ and Ethical Challenges in Nursing Homes” by Georg Bollig, Eva Gjengedal, and Jan Henrik Rosland
  • “An Innovative Approach to Teaching Bioethics in Management of Healthcare” by Silviya Aleksandrova-Yankulovska
  • “It’s Agony for Us as Well: Neonatal Nurses Reflect on Iatrogenic Pain” by Janet Green, et al.
  • “Non-Therapeutic Intensive Care for Organ Donation: A Healthcare Professionals’ Opinion Survey” by Stephanie Camut, et al.
  • “Comparison of Professional Values between Nursing Students in Taiwan and China” by Yu-Hua Lin, et al.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Where to Publish and Not to Publish in Bioethics

Guest Post by Stefan Eriksson & Gert Helgesson, Uppsala University

* Note: this is a cross-posting from The Ethics Blog, hosted by the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB) at Uppsala University. The link to the original article is here. Re-posted with permission of the authors.

Introduction

Allegedly, there are over 8,000 so-called predatory journals out there. Instead of supporting readers and science, these journals serve their own economic interests first and at best offer dubious merits for scholars. We believe that scholars working in any academic discipline have a professional interest and a responsibility to keep track of these journals. It is our job to warn the young or inexperienced of journals where a publication or editorship could be detrimental to their career. Even with the best of intent, researchers who publish in these journals inadvertently subject themselves to criticism. We have seen “predatory” publishing take off in a big way and noticed how colleagues start to turn up in the pages of some of these journals. This trend, referred to by some as the dark side of publishing, needs to be reversed.

People have for a number of years now turned to Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, who runs blacklists of “potential, possible, or probable” predatory publishers and journals. His lists are not, however, the final say on the matter, as it is impossible to judge reliably actors in every academic discipline. Moreover, since only questionable journals are listed, the good journals must be found elsewhere.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Moral Stress in Mental Health Practice and Research

Dr. Adam Fried

By: Adam Fried, Ph.D.

Mental health practice, assessment and research can be highly fulfilling, but also emotionally demanding. In recent years, the field of psychology has made a concerted effort to educate psychologists about the effects of various types of caregiver stress (including secondary traumatic stress and vicarious traumatization in which the professional internalizes or is otherwise personally affected by the trauma experienced by those with whom the professional works) on their mental health and professional work (Collins & Long, 2003; Figley, 2002). Extreme cases can lead to a phenomenon known as compassion stress/fatigue (Figley, 2002), which can often be accompanied by a decrease in professional self-efficacy and a reduced willingness to help (Figley, 2002; Newell & MacNeill, 2010).

Stress can take many forms. One type that has received increased attention occurs when professional, institutional or legal rules and constraints prevent the practitioner from doing what they believe is right or most beneficial for the client/patient. Known as moral stress, these experiences describe ethical and emotional impasses experienced by professionals who may feel unable to provide the assistance they believe is truly necessary to address the client’s issues while also maintaining appropriate boundaries and adhering to ethics codes and laws.

Originally developed within the nursing community (Jameton,1984), this type of stress has been studied across many “helping” professions, including social workers, psychologists, and palliative care providers. Within psychology, it isn’t difficult to imagine a variety of moral stress situations within practice, assessment and research settings, although the nature of moral stress may differ in terms of the role of the professional, the setting and the nature of the mental health condition or focus of intervention.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Where to publish and not to publish in bioethics

Allegedly, there are over 8.000 so called predatory journals out there. Instead of supporting readers and science, these journals serve their own economic interests first and at best offer dubious merits for scholars. We believe that scholars working in any academic discipline have a professional interest and a responsibility to keep track of these journals. It is our job to warn the young or inexperienced of journals where a publication or editorship could be detrimental to their career. Even with the best of intent, researchers who publish in these journals inadvertently subject themselves to criticism. We have seen “predatory” publishing take off in a big way and noticed how colleagues start to turn up in the pages of some of these journals. This trend, referred to by some as the dark side of publishing, needs to be reversed.

Gert Helgesson, Professor of Medical Ethics, Karolinska InstitutetPeople have for a number of years now turned to Jeffrey Beall, a librarian at the University of Colorado, who runs blacklists of “potential, possible, or probable” predatory publishers and journals. His lists are not, however, the final say on the matter, as it is impossible to judge reliably actors in every academic discipline. Moreover, since only questionable journals are listed, the good journals must be found elsewhere. We are much obliged to his work but think that a response of gatekeeping needs also to be anchored in each discipline.

As a suitable response in bioethics, we have chosen the following approach: Below, we alphabetically list the recommended journals in our field that either have an impact over one, as calculated by Thomson Reuters over a five year period, and a good reputation (still no potentially predatory journal in bioethics have received such a high IF, but it might happen), or by our own experience have been found to be of high quality when engaging with them as authors, reviewers and/or readers (and agreed upon by all those involved as authors of this blog post or as reference persons for the lists).

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.