The contemporary professions are characterized by guided by strict rules and regulations as a way of promoting ethical behavior. One of the professional areas which require total observation of regulations in order to sustain human right and ethics is the nursing field. To begin with, nurses have a role in addressing human rights/ethics by ensuring that they are not violated when administering medication and when gathering data in medical researches (Kamalam, 2005, p.611). Apart from this, nurses have a responsibility of reporting any case that violates the rights of human beings under medication or during research study.
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In addition, nurses too have a responsibility of guaranteeing that human rights/ethics of the vulnerable people in the society are protected in such scenarios (Kamalam, 2005, p.616). This included people such as the children, the mentally handicapped, the elderly, etc. Similarly, nurses had a responsibility of halting processes which violated human rights/ethics of the patients and other people who were involved in medical research. Furthermore, the nurses were responsible in forwarding such cases to the concerned authorities such as an Institutional Review Board. On the other hand, they were supposed to take care of the subject who participates in research study.
From the case study which is mentioned and used extensively in the seminar, the human rights were not respected in this scenario. Notably, the husband of the sick wife had a right to understand or rather know what was going to happen to her and allow her to be interviewed. In this regard, since it involved research, those who were carrying out the research were supposed to obtain an informed consent from the husband in order to interview the wife. Therefore, since this was not obtained, the rights of the both the wife and her husband were violated or rather not respected.
Issues from the Case Study
There are a lot of concerns which arise from the scenario of the husband and his sick wife. Notably, the statutes of nursing dictate that when carrying out research studies which focus on patients, one must obtain an informed consent from the person responsible for the patient. Whereas the standards of patients care are different from those of the research study, both cases, i.e. standards for patient care and research study, require the practitioners involved to guarantee that the human rights/ethics would be observed. In this case therefore, some of the issues which would arise is whether the privacy or rather the confidentiality of the patient information would be maintained taking into considerations that the nursing researcher was yet to obtain an informed consent from the husband of the wife who was participating in this research.
In addition, the ability of the patient to clearly understand research questions was also an important factor that raised concerns in this scenario. It is important to understand that respondents must be able to understand the research questions that they are asked in a particular research. Similarly, it should be clearly stated to the customer that he or she can withdraw at any moment during the research. No one should be forced to continue with the research against his or her will.
There are various lessons which one could learn from this case. To begin with, the role of the nursing researchers in protecting the human rights/ethics was exemplified. Notably, one of the lessons that were learnt from this seminar was embedded in the fact that the nurse had a responsibility to ensure that the researcher was adhering to the rules and regulations of medical research by acquiring the consent of the patient or a closely related person. Additionally, the role of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) was vital in ensuring that the data collection researches adhered to the laid-down standards. It is important to note that these standards provided guidance on how to protect the human rights/ethics of patients and those who were involved in medical researches.
On a personal level, one of the lessons learned was based on the fact that as a nurse, one had a greater responsibility in protecting human subjects from violation of rights/ethics. For instance, when a patient participates in a research study and get emotional, the nurse should ensure that he or she accesses medical attention to alleviate the problem. Similarly, as a nurse, one had the responsibility of understanding the relevant channels and authorities who were supposed to be contacted whenever there were concerns over violation of human rights/ethics and when the protection of human subject was jeopardized. On the other hand, violation of human subjects could easily lead to termination of sponsorship of the research.
There are various practices which were found to be valuable during the seminar. To begin with, obtaining an informed consent from the patient or respondents in the case of research studies was vital in validating the data which was collected during a research. Notably, these informed consents needed an approval of the relevant institution such as an IRB. In addition to this, the nurses were supposed to care for the patients whenever there research studies were being carried out. This includes providing medical attention whenever there is a need.
Whereas these issues were important, understanding the institutional guidelines and procedures when carrying out research was very critical in administering services and collecting research data which was appropriate and which respected the human rights/ethics as well as protect the human subjects. Therefore, as a nursing researcher, one had the responsibility to contact the relevant institution and let them terminate the research when it was found out that the human subjects were violated. This was irrespective of the amount of data that had been collected.This would guarantee that human right/ethics are maintained.
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