Ethics Vs Law

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Ethics VS Law

Ethics VS Law


The aim of this paper is to understand possible conflicts that can arise between law and ethics and how nurses are supposed to respond to such situations and events. Through this paper we will also look into how nurses have handles such situations in the past.


Nursing is one profession in which nurses have to consistently deal with issues which are either legal or ethical in nature and irrespective of countless trainings nurses are not always equipped to deal with such occurrences. Nurses need to make countless decisions every single day and in order to resolve those issues they need to consider both laws and ethical standards, therefore in order for nurses to be able to make the right decisions it is necessary that nurses understand how laws, ethics and nursing comes into play.

Nurses have the responsibility of quality care to individuals who are in need of medical assistance, with time people have become increasingly aware about health care facilities and their rights which has increased the responsibility of nurses who are now expected to follow legal requirements as well. Nurses are required to comply with the American Nurses Association, which has provided a detailed framework of detailed code of ethics which nurses are required to follow failure to do so can have serious consequences (Guido and Watson, 2012).

Functions of Law in Nursing

Laws in nursing establish a framework that specifies which nursing actions while caring for a patient are legal. It also helps to differentiate the responsibilities of nurses from other health care professionals, highlights the boundaries of independent nursing actions in the time of a crisis or emergency. Laws also aid in formulating a proper standard of nursing practices which makes nurses accountable for their actions under the laws (Butts, n.d).


Ethics defines what is right and what is wrong; it is the standard of conduct. Ethics is a systematic way of acting as a nurse and being able to differentiate between virtues and vice. Ethics has immense value in any profession and ensures that the employees are abiding by the standard established that makes it mandatory for nurses to act in a particular manner.

Conflicts between legal and ethical

Nurses tend to deal with various situations on a day to day basis that puts them in a fragile position in which they have to decide on a course of action and the nurses might have to chose to either behavior ethically or legally making the right choice is crucial and can significantly alter the nurses future and the life of the patient is not considered in a proper manner. Some major conflicts are discussed as follows:

Drug Misuse

Drugs and medications are extremely crucial health care systems and patients required various medications for different purposes, how it is necessary to understand the fact that not all drugs are made for every patient it might be possible that a certain drug can momentarily heal a patient but in the long term can be considerably damaging. Nurses might come across situations in which ...
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