Suffering and Ethical Caring: incompatible entities

Nursing Ethics 4 (5):361-370 (1997)
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Abstract

Ethical problems are continuing to expand in health care due to conflicts of technology and value. This study investigated what kind of ethical problems nurses face in clinical situations and what process they use in deciding on actions to take. Ethical theories in justice and caring were explored. Qualitative research was used and ethnographic analysis was conducted with six staff nurses from three clinical areas. An analysis of the data yielded an overarching theme of ‘Suffering and ethical caring: incompatible entities’. Six domains were identified: informant definitions, preceding conditions, actions taken, intervening variables, risks and recommendations. Future research is needed in the field of client and family suffering and pain.

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