Applying an ethical decision-making tool to a nurse management dilemma

Toren, Orly; Wagner, Nurith
May 2010
Nursing Ethics;May2010, Vol. 17 Issue 3, p393
Academic Journal
This article considers ethical dilemmas that nurse managers may confront and suggests an ethical decision-making model that could be used as a tool for resolving such dilemmas. The focus of the article is on the question: Can nurse managers choose the ethically right solution in conflicting situations when nurses' rights collide with patients' rights to quality care in a world of cost-effective and economic constraint? Managers' responsibility is to ensure and facilitate a safe and ethical working environment in which nurses are able to give quality care to their patients. In nursing it is frequently declared that managers' main obligations are to patients' needs and their rights to receive quality care. However, managers' ethical responsibilities are not only to patients but also to the nurses working in their institution. This article describes a real (but disguised) situation from an Israeli health care context to illustrate the dilemmas that may arise. The question is posed of whether nurse managers can maintain patients' and nurses' rights and, at the same time, fulfill their obligation to the conflicting demands of the organization. The article also offers a way to solve conflict by using an ethical decision-making model.


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