NURS 8100 Week 6: Ethical and Legal Implications of Policy Essay
Nurses frequently encounter ethical and legal dilemmas that shape their practice. Likewise, those who are responsible for formulating policy and ensuring effective implementation also encounter critical dilemmas related to health law and ethics. For example, how should decisions involving individual rights versus the collective good be made? What other policy-related issues have ethical and legal implications?
This week you review the four principles of medical ethics—beneficence, malfeasance, autonomy, and justice. You will examine these principles in the light of current health care policy.
Analyze a health care policy in terms of the tension between individual rights and the collective good
Evaluate the ethical and legal considerations of a health care policy
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Discussion: Individual Right Versus the Collective Good
Most of the recent successes in improving the public’4 s health have had to address the tension of individual rights versus the collective good. Anti-smoking campaigns and laws banning smoking in public places protect people from the negative health effects of second-hand smoke, yet some believe that they infringe on the individual rights of those who choose to smoke. Requiring childhood immunizations has helped prevent diseases such as polio and measles, but some parents assert that they have the right to decide if being immunized is in the best interest of their children.
This tension also exists in the allocation of scarce resources, from providing adequate staff coverage to making decisions about the amount of health care to provide. Given the nurse’s involvement in policy and health care delivery, it is important to understand the dynamics of this tension, as well as the legal and ethical implications.
When have you encountered a tension between the individual right and the collective good in your nursing practice?
With information from the Learning Resources in mind, consider relatively recent examples of health care policy that demonstrate this tension. For this Discussion, select one example of timely health care policy that allows you to evaluate the tension between individual rights and the collective good. Conduct additional research as necessary using credible websites and the Walden Library.
By Day 3
Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:
In the first line of your posting, identify a health care policy.
Explain the tension between individual rights and the collective good.
Analyze the ethical and legal considerations of the policy.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.
By Day 6
Respond to at least two of your colleagues posting adding to the discussion of the tension and legal and ethical considerations (beneficence, malfeasance, autonomy, and justice).