Legal and Ethical Conduct

Topic Legal and Ethical Conduct
Paper details

All nurses need to be familiar with the laws and regulations that
govern their practice: their state’s Nurse Practice Act, ANA’s
Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, specialty group standards of
practice, etc. In addition, basic ethical principles guide nurses’
decision-making process every day. ANA’s Code of Ethics and ANA’s
Social Policy Statement are two important documents that outline
nurses’ ethical responsibilities to their patients, themselves, and
their profession. This said, there is a dilemma: The laws are not
always compatible with the ethical positions nurses sometimes take.

Read the following scenario:

Lena is a community health care nurse who works exclusively with
HIV-positive and AIDS patients. As a part of her job, she evaluates
new cases and reviews confidential information about these patients.
In the course of one of these reviews, Lena learns that her sister’s
boyfriend has tested HIV positive. Lena would like to protect her
sister from harm and begins to consider how her sister can find out
about her boyfriend’s health status.
Consult at least two resources to help you establish Lena’s legal and
ethical position. These resources might include your state’s Nurse
Practice Act, the ANA's Code of Ethics, ANA’s Nursing: Scope and
Standards of Practice, and internal or external standards of care.
Consider what action you would take if you were Lena and why.
Determine whether the law and the ANA’s standards support or conflict
with that action.

Compose a description of the actions you would take in this situation,
and why. Justify these actions by referencing appropriate laws,
ethical standards, and professional guidelines.
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