BOX 2-6 The Five Rs Approach to Ethical Nursing Practice
1. Read: Read and learn about ethical philosophies, approaches, and the ANA’s Code of Ethics for Nurses. Insight and practical wisdom are best developed through effort and concentration.
2. Reflect: Reflect mindfully on one’s egocentric attachments—values, intentions, motivations, and attitudes. Members of moral communities are socially engaged and focus on the common good. This includes having good insight regarding life events, cultivating and using practical wisdom, and being generous and socially just.
3. Recognize: Recognize ethical bifurcation (decision) points, whether they are obvious or obscure. Because of indifference or avoidance, nurses may miss both small and substantial opportunities to help alleviate human suffering in its different forms.
4. Resolve: Resolve to develop and practice intellectual and moral virtues. Knowing ethical codes, rules, duties, and principles means little without being combined with a nurse’s good character.
5. Respond: Respond to persons and situations deliberately and habitually with intellectual and moral virtues. Nurses have a choice about their character development and actions.
What are values?
Q. What are your personal values?
Q. Why do you value them?
Q. What are the values in your society?
Q. How do you make choices?
Q. Are your choices based on your values?
Q. What values are useful in society?
What are the limits to personal choice?
Q. Who limits your choices?
Q. Are limits to choices good?
Q. Do you limit other people’s choices?
Q. Should the health care organization or the government limit people’s choices? If so, how, and under what circumstances?
In your responses to peers, feel free to agree, disagree, question, compare, and discuss each other’s responses in a way that fosters thoughtful and respectful dialog. You may also address the following: Did any responses surprise you? If so, how? Did reading your peers’ responses to the questions expand your own view of ways to answer questions?
Finally, consider this: A common idea in health care is that if you are drawn to health care as a profession, you are inherently guided by an inner compass that is composed of a strong moral framework. Why is this a dangerous assumption?