Culture, Ethics, and Respect: The Bottom Line Is Understanding

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As the world becomes smaller, there is increasing recognition that the world is more culturally diverse. People within a particular group share customs, habits, and values; however, these individuals may share few, if any, beliefs and practices with people from other cultural groups. This increasing cultural diversity raises questions about ways to deliver appropriate and respectful health care to patients from other cultures. This article discusses culture, culture and health care, and respect for culture. There is a description of means that nurses can use to provide culturally relevant care. Ethical practice requires a recognition of one's biases, a sensitivity to cultural differences, the avoidance of generalizations about cultures, and the provision of culturally relevant care.

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