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When patients present themselves to the nurses, these health care workers are usually obliged to put their clients cases into a good and proper moral consideration before actually handling them. They are normally guided by the medical ethics, which offer at least a path into analysing and solving problems and issues in this field. Decisions made and actions taken should promote human dignity. The duty of a nurse is basically to give care to the patients; they should be around them to give the support and administer to the according to the doctors instructions. So they are responsible for the well being of the patients while the doctors are away and the well being of the patient largely depend on the basic care provided by the nurses. A good nurse serves his or her patient whole-heartedly and they are up to seeing that their clients' conditions are improving. They are there to bring a smile and hope to their patients even when there is no hope. (Halpem, 2004)
Uninsured patients are usually faced with challenges of poor health services especially if there cases are severe and require large amounts of funds to handle and manage. For example if one was diabetic or having cancer and due to poor financial status, have not been able to pay for his/her health insurance, when they present there case to the medical practitioners, it becomes a big challenge and to come to a conclusion on the way to handle this situation, those involved in serving this patient must critically observe their work ethics and accord the patient what he deserves. On the basis of universal moral principles, we can all agree that it would not be at all ethical to ignore the patient treatment. The doctor would rather look out for the alternative way that would be less costly in handling the patient's case. (Papadimos, 2007). The rest is left for the nurses, who look after the patient's well being by administering what the doctor instructs and giving the basic care and support. Every body would admit that practically, it is hard to withstand such situations but living in such a dynamic society we expect quite a number of such cases and it is only well trained nurses who up hold their professional ethics that can manage this. (Papadimos, 2007).
Principles that guide the nurses in their day-to-day duties are surrounded by the theory of utilitarianism and the kantis theory, which are widely accepted since they uphold good morals and human dignity as a whole. Some of these ethics include nonmaleficence, which is born of the Hippocratic oath and forbids them not to hurt anyone and hence putting the safety of the patient in the nurses' hands. Beneficence is another factor that makes up the core of the nursing ethics and it gives the strata of the way nurse should relate to their patients without harming them but promoting good. If this is done, the patient is usually on the save side because his well being generally depends on the services offered by the nurses (Halpem, 2004). Nurses also work on the principle of justice, which guide them to give to the patients what they deserve. It is universal that every patient has a right to nursing services hence nurses should be equitably distributed despite the scarce resources and that is why nurses are believed to serve the doctors role were the doctors cannot reach. Other principles of nursing ethic are autonomy and privacy just to mention (Papadimos, 2004).
Kantian ethics and morals shows morality based on reason and not on emotions or sympathy. It views human beings having the ability to reason and use both reason and free will in decision-making. This theory also puts it that; none has control of the consequence of his or her actions hence the morality of the whole issue is only judged by the intention of the action and not on the end result. (Mill, 1904)
The strengths of Kantian ethics in the health care environment and specifically in nursing are that when they base the actions on their professional ethical principles discussed above, both their actions and the end results are universally acceptable.
The difficulty in this would be majorly the outcome, which would be distasteful such as death or more complications due to poor or low profile services. This is because Kantian theory does not show responsibility for the end results of any action.
Utilitarianism views an act moral on the basis of its outcome or the end result. It is usually geared towards the greatest happiness principal, where an action is judged moral if it brings happiness and pleasure to the majority. So, an act cannot be judged moral but its consequences are if only it pleases most people. (Mill, 1874)
There are strengths of utilitarian approach when handling uninsured patient's nursing because it is easy to show the utilitarian results when the nurses uphold their universal working ethics. When the nurse gives the patient the service that he/ she requires, she doesn't hurt the patient and human dignity is up held. This obviously leads to everybody's happiness.
However, this approach is at most times impossible and impractical since you cannot please the majority especially at your expense. Most cases of uninsured patients being attended cost a very large sum of resources and since it is not settled, it means that the individuals and institutions serving them suffer huge losses. This sometimes calls for one to act in an inhuman way to avoid this losses and hence deviating utilitarianism.
But if the two theories are considered when one is making a decision and acting, the consequences will always be reasonable since we would be held responsible for everything we do and we will always be careful in everything done.