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Ethical Challenges for Cancer Nurses




  • Introduces and explains the Code of ethics developed in 1993
  • Lists and explains the ethical problems and dilemmas which can occur
  • Descriptions of the barriers to interdisciplinary ethical decision-making are provided
  • Guidance on a systematic and conceptual ethical approach is given
  • Case studies and step-by-step spiral model for decision making is provided to aid further detailed explanations

This chapter examines the continuous ethical challenges for nurses providing care during situations involving patients with cancer. It gives nurses guidance to take more responsibility with dealing with those ethical challenges and points out the considerable opportunity for cancer nurses to facilitate and evaluate ethical decision-making processes, and adds that by doing so nurses will contribute to the development of a dynamic and progressive professional ethic in cancer nursing.


Contents include

  • Ethical dilemmas and ethical problems
  • Barriers to interdisciplinary ethical decision making
    • Communication
    • Ethical skills and behaviour
  • A systematic ethical approach
    • SPECIFY the problem and facts of the case
    • Identify the moral PRINCIPLES that bear on the case
    • IDENTIFY options actually available
    • REVIEW possible outcomes of action
    • ACT effectively and with resolution
    • LEARN what you can by evaluating results
  • Other problems
  • Acknowledgments and references
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Author / Editor Biographies

RN (General), Cert (Oncology Nursing), BN and Mbioethics.
Julie has been a registered nurse in the cancer nursing field for almost 20 years. During that time she has worked in cancer units in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia. Her experience has been mainly in the area of acute haematology and medical oncology. For most of her career she has been employed at the Royal Melbourne Hospital in their oncology unit. She has held a number of different positions during that time including almost 10 years as the Clinical Nurse Manager. Currently she holds the position of Bone Marrow Transplant Coordinator, and has a particular interest in the role...

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