While the influence of emotion on individuals'' ethical decisions has been identified by numerous researchers, little is known about how emotions influence individuals'' ethical decision process. Thus, it is not clear whether different emotions promote and/or discourage ethical decision-making in the workplace. To address this gap, this paper develops a model that illustrates how emotion affects the components of individuals'' ethical decision-making process. The model is developed by integrating research findings that consider the two dimensions of emotion, arousal and feeling (...) state, into an applied cognitive-developmental perspective on the process of ethical decision-making. The model demonstrates that certain emotional states influence the individual''s propensity to identify ethical dilemmas, facilitate the formation of the individual''s prescriptive judgments at sophisticated levels of moral development, lead to ethical decision choices that are consistent with the individual''s prescriptive judgements, and promote the individual''s compliance with his or her ethical decision choices. In particular, the model suggests that individuals experiencing arousal and positive affect resolve ethical dilemmas in a manner consistent with more sophisticated cognitive moral structures. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. (shrink)
Hospitals in many countries have had clinical ethics committees for over 20 years. Despite this, there has been little research to evaluate these committees and growing evidence that they are underutilized. To address this gap, we investigated the question ‘What are the barriers and facilitators nurses and physicians perceive in consulting their hospital ethics committee?’ Thirty-four nurses, 10 nurse managers and 31 physicians working at four Canadian hospitals were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide as part of a larger investigation. (...) We used content analysis of the interview data related to barriers and facilitators to use of hospital ethics committees to identify nine categories of barriers and nine categories of facilitators. These categories as well as their subcategories are discussed and those specific to nurses or physicians are identified. The need to increase health professionals' use of clinical ethics committees through reducing barriers and maximizing facilitators is discussed. (shrink)
Much of the literature on clinical ethical conflict has been specific to a specialty area or a particular patient group, as well as to a single profession. This study identifies themes of hospital nurses’ and physicians’ clinical ethical conflicts that cut across the spectrum of clinical specialty areas, and compares the themes identified by nurses with those identified by physicians. We interviewed 34 clinical nurses, 10 nurse managers and 31 physicians working at four different Canadian hospitals as part of a (...) larger study on clinical ethics committees and nurses’ and physicians’ use of these committees. We describe nine themes of clinical ethical conflict that were common to both hospital nurses and physicians, and three themes that were specific to physicians. Following this, we suggest reasons for differences in nurses’ and physicians’ ethical conflicts and discuss implications for practice and research. (shrink)
A multiple-case study of four hospital ethics committees in Canada was conducted and data collected included interviews with key informants, observation of committee meetings and ethics-related hospital documents, such as policies and committee minutes. We compared the hospital committees in terms of their structure, functioning and perceptions of key informants and found variation in the dimensions of empowerment, organizational culture of ethics, breadth of ethics mandate, achievements, dynamism, and expertise.
This study examined the association of nurses’ ethical conflict with hospitals with organizational commitment, stress, turnover intention, absence and turnover. Participants were 410 nurses working at four different Canadian hospitals. A longitudinal design was used where nurses completed a questionnaire to capture ethical conflict, stress and organizational commitment, and one year later, measures of turnover intention, absence and actual turnover were obtained for the same sample. We found three aspects of nurses’ ethical conflict with hospitals: patient care values, value of (...) nurses, and staffing policy values. Our findings showed that all three aspects of nurses’ ethical conflict are associated with stress and patient care values is associated with actual turnover. We also found that staffing policy values is predictive of turnover intention, and that patient care values is predictive of absenteeism. Thus, our findings show the multidimensionality of nurses’ ethical conflict with hospitals. Further implications of our findings for practice and theory are discussed. (shrink)
Background Despite news reports of morally distressing situations resulting from complex and demanding community-care delivery in Canada, there has been little research on the topic of ethical conflicts experienced by community-based health care professionals. Research aim To identify ethical conflicts experienced by community nurses. Research design Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and then relevant text was extracted and condensed using qualitative content analysis. This research was part of a larger grounded theory project examining how community nurses manage ethical conflict. (...) Research context and participants Community nurses, including 13 public health nurses and 11 home care nurses from two Canadian provinces, were interviewed. Ethical considerations Study approval was granted by the Health Research Ethics Authority of Newfoundland and Labrador and by provincial health authorities. Findings Seven ethical conflicts were identified and assigned to one of two groups. In the grouping categorized as challenges with obligations or risks, the ethical conflicts were: (1) screening for child developmental issues knowing there is a lack of timely early intervention services; (2) encountering inequities in the health care system; (3) not fulfilling principles, goals, and initiatives of primary and secondary prevention; and (4) feeling powerless to advocate for clients. The remaining ethical conflicts were categorized as challenges with process, risks, and consequences, and were: (5) jeopardizing therapeutic relationships while reporting signs of a child at risk; (6) managing confidentiality when neighbors are clients; and (7) supporting client autonomy and decision-making but uncertain of the consequences. Conclusions Research investigation will continue to be important to raise awareness and mobilize ethics supports as health care services are steadily shifted from institutional to community settings. Moreover, with heightened potential for communicable disease outbreaks across international borders from global warming, community nurses around the world will continue to be required to address ethically-difficult care situations with competence and compassion. (shrink)