TITLE

Conscience, conscientious objection, and nursing: A concept analysis

AUTHOR(S)
Lamb, Christina; Evans, Marilyn; Babenko-Mould, Yolanda; Wong, Carol A.; Kirkwood, Ken W.
PUB. DATE
February 2019
SOURCE
Nursing Ethics;Feb2019, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p37
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Background: Ethical nursing practice is increasingly challenging, and strategies for addressing ethical dilemmas are needed to support nurses' ethical care provision. Conscientious objection is one such strategy for addressing nurses' personal, ethical conflicts, at times associated with conscience. Exploring both conscience and conscientious objection provides understanding regarding their implications for ethical nursing practice, research, and education. Research aim: To analyze the concepts of conscience and conscientious objection in the context of nurses. Design: Concept analysis using the method by Walker and Avant. Research context: Data were retrieved from Philosopher's Index, PubMed, and CINAHL with no date restrictions. Ethical consideration: This analysis was carried out per established, scientific guidelines. Findings: Ethical concepts are integral to nursing ethics, yet little is known about conscientious objection in relation to conscience for nurses. Of note, both concepts are well established in ethics literature, addressed in various nursing codes of ethics and regulatory bodies, but the meaning they hold for nurses and the impact they have on nursing education and practice remain unclear. Discussion and conclusion: This article discusses the relevance of conscience and conscientious objection to ethical nursing practice and proposes a model case to show how they can be appreciated in the context of nurses. Conscientious objection is an option for ethical transparency for nurses but is situated in contentious discussions over its use and has yet to be fully understood for nursing practice. Conscience is an element in need of more exploration in the context of conscientious objection. Further research is warranted to understand how nurses respond to conscience concerns in morally, pluralistic nursing contexts.
ACCESSION #
135206585

 

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