Beyond Ebola Ethics: Do Nurses have a Duty to Treat?
Assistant professor of nursing at California State University, Chico, USA
- *Corresponding Author:
- Miriam Walter
E-mail: [email protected]
This article explores a significant issue facing nurses. Legal and ethical considerations are explored, looking at the relevant new Rhode Island and California laws, which mandates both a duty to treat and employer responsibilities. The ethical framework of beneficence is discussed. The ANA Code of Ethics is examined and the revisions in 2015 are introduced. Nurses’ rights are outlined, as well as the responsibilities of employers and society. The article ends with additional considerations for nurses and the U.S. It will help nurses to clarify their own beliefs about the current crisis as well as in general regarding the ethics of mandating duty in the face of a pandemic or highly lethal disease.