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Canadian Nurses Association

7. When family members disagree with the decisions made by a person receiving

care, nurses assist families in gaining an understanding of the person’s decisions.

8. If a person receiving care is clearly


of consent, the nurse respects

the law on capacity assessment and substitute decision-making in the nurse’s

jurisdiction (Canadian Nurses Protective Society [CNPS], 2009).

9. For any person that is considered incapable of consenting to care, nurses

promote that person’s participation in discussions and decisions regarding their

care in a manner that is adapted to the person’s capabilities.

10. Nurses, along with other health-care providers and

substitute decision-


, consider and respect the best interests of the person receiving care

and any previously known wishes or

advance care planning

that applies in

the situation (CNPS, 2009).

D. Honouring Dignity

Nurses recognize and respect the intrinsic worth of each person.

Ethical responsibilities:

1. Nurses, in their professional capacity, relate to all persons receiving care with


2. Nurses support persons receiving care in maintaining their dignity and integrity.

3. In health-care decision-making, in treatment and in care, nurses work with

persons receiving care to take into account their values, customs and spiritual

beliefs, as well as their social and economic circumstances without judgment

or bias.

4. Nurses intervene, and report when necessary,


when others fail to respect

the dignity of a person they are caring for or a colleague (including students),

recognizing that to be silent and passive is to condone the behaviour. They speak

up, facilitate conversation and adjudicate disputes, as appropriate/required.

5. Nurses respect the privacy of persons receiving care by providing care in a

discreet manner and by minimizing intrusions.

6. Nurses utilize practice standards, best practice guidelines, policies and research

to minimize risk and maximize safety, well-being and/or dignity for persons

receiving care.


See footnote 6.