Ethical openings in palliative home care practice


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Abstract

Understanding how a nurse acts in a particular situation reveals how nurses enact their ethics in day-to-day nursing. Our ethical frameworks assist us when we experience serious ethical dilemmas. Yet how a nurse responds in situations of daily practice is contingent upon all the presenting cues that build the current moment. In this article, we look at how a home care nurse responds to the ethical opening that arises when the nurse enters a person's home. We discuss how the home presents the nurse with knowledge that informs the provision of ethical nursing care. The analysis is based on findings from an interpretive research study in palliative home care in Canada. Through interpretive analysis of a nursing situation we delineate how the nurse engages with the whole and acts inside the moment. The analysis shows how home care nurses are ethically determined to engage with whatever is going on in a patient's home.

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