systematic rules or principles governing right conduct.
Each practitioner, upon entering a profession, is invested with the responsibility to adhere to the standards of ethical practice and conduct set by the profession.
The Code for Nurses, adopted by the American Nurses' Association (ANA) in 1950 and revised periodically, is intended to provide definite standards of practice and conduct that are essential to the ethical discharge of the nurse's responsibility.
Further information on the Code, interpretative statements that clarify it, and guidance in implementing it in specific situations can be obtained from committees and councils on nursing practice of State Nurses' Associations or from the ANA Nursing Practice Department.
Ethical systems of care rely on a general agreement whereby specific activities are considered to be beneficial or detrimental to patient wellbeing.
Ethical theories provide a framework for interactions with clients or service users.
However, it is important to balance the potential positive and negative effects of a course of treatment.
Relativism in ethical judgements is common in nursing practice, where there may be pros and cons associated with an action.
Nurses should support patients during their healing and recovery.
This applies to all care processes, including administering medication and providing patients with information and education.