Terms such as ‘cultural competence’ and ‘transcultural nursing’ have comfortably taken their place in the lexicon of health care. Their high profile is a reflection of the diversity of western societies and health care’s commitment to provide care that is responsive to the values and beliefs of all who require treatment. However, the relationship between cultural competence and familiar ethical concepts such as patient autonomy has been an uneasy one. This article explores the moral foundations of cultural competence, ultimately locating (...) them in patient autonomy and patient good. The discussion of patient good raises questions about the moral relevance of a value’s rootedness in a particular culture. I argue that the moral justification for honoring cultural values has more to do with the fact that patients are strongly committed to them than it does with their cultural rootedness. Finally, I suggest an organizational approach to cultural competence that emphasizes overall organizational preparedness. (shrink)
Through the analysis of forty ethical dilemmas drawn from real-life situations, _Ethics in Action_ guides the reader through a process of moral deliberation that leads to the resolution of a variety of moral dilemmas. Fosters critical thinking by evaluating the reasons people give to support their choices and actions Challenges the paradigm of moral relativism that often impedes efforts to resolve moral dilemmas Incorporates international perspectives often lacking in texts published for a U.S. audience.
Due to the enormous disparity of power in the child welfare professional-client relationship, a high level of trust is necessary for this relationship to achieve its intended benefits, including protecting, caring for, terminating parental rights to, and finding appropriate adoptive homes for, abused and neglected children. This paper first defines conflicts of interest as necessarily including the exercise of judgment, and then argues that contractual relationships between private child welfare agencies and public departments of child welfare often betray their fiduciary (...) responsibilities through conflicts of interest inherent in these contracts, particularly as regarding incentives for and against finding permanent homes for abused and neglected children. Finally, I propose an evidence-based strategy to ameliorate conflicts of interest when making permanent placement decisions for foster children. (shrink)
In the case of an intellectually disabled patient, the attending physician was restricted from writing a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order. Although the rationale for this restriction was to protect the patient from an inappropriate quality of life judgment, it resulted in a worse death than the patient would have experienced had he not been disabled. Such restrictions that are intended to protect intellectually disabled patients may violate their right to equal treatment and to a dignified death.