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PHL 302
Glen Hoffmann

1 November 27, 2009 NURSING ETHICS LECTURE 11 I Introduction The last several weeks we have been using theoretical frameworks to examine particular ethical concepts and issues related to the provision of healthcare. All of these concepts, it would seem, presuppose a basic respect for persons. Autonomy involves having the freedom to make choices about issues that affect ones life. The principle of beneficence maintains that one ought to do or promote good. The principle of nonmalificence requires one to avoid causing harm, including deliberate harm, risk of harm, and harm that occurs during the performance of beneficial acts. The principle of veracity relates to the universal virtue of truth-telling. Confidentiality is the principle that requires nondisclosure of private or secret information with which one is entrusted. Justice is the principle that relates to fair, equitable, and appropriate treatment in light of what is due or owed to persons. 2 This week we will discuss another ethical principle that presupposes a basic respect for persons: fidelity. We will first discuss the central features of the concept of fidelity and its rationale or justification. We will then discuss ethical dilemmas that arise concerning its application. Finally, we will very briefly discuss how the concept of fidelity relates to the professional integrity of nurses and other healthcare workers.
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