Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  41 / 60 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 41 / 60 Next Page
Page Background

If nurses can anticipate

a conflict with their

conscience, they notify

their employers or

persons receiving care

(if the nurse is self-

employed) in advance so

alternative arrangements

can be made.

Code of Ethics

for Registered Nurses

35

• Advise the appropriate parties regarding unresolved concerns and, when

feasible, inform the colleague(s) in question of the reasons for your action.

Know what immediate help is available to your colleague(s) and be ready

to help the colleague(s) find these resources.

• Nurses who engage in responsible reporting of incompetent, unsafe or

unethical care are supported by their colleagues, professional association

and/or professional college.

Ethical Considerations in Addressing Expectations That Are in

Conflict with One’s Conscience

Nurses may not abandon those in need of nursing

care. However, nurses may sometimes be opposed to

certain procedures and practices in health care and

find it difficult to willingly participate in providing care

that others have judged to be morally acceptable.

Such situations include, but are not limited to, blood

transfusions, abortion, suicide attempts, refusal

of treatment and medical assistance in dying. The

nurse’s right to follow their conscience in such

situations is recognized in the

Code

’s provision for

conscientious objection.

If nursing care is requested that is in conflict with the nurse’s moral beliefs

and values but in keeping with professional practice, the nurse provides safe,

compassionate, competent and ethical care until alternative care arrangements

are in place to meet the person’s needs or desires. But nothing in the Criminal

Code compels an individual to provide or assist in providing medical assistance

in dying. If nurses can anticipate a conflict with their conscience, they notify their

employers or persons receiving care (if the nurse is self-employed) in advance so

alternative arrangements can be made. (G7)

Specifically, with respect to medical assistance in dying, nurses consult CNA’s

National

Nursing Framework on Medical Assistance in Dying in Canada

(2016b). This framework

includes details about the changes in Canadian law (the Criminal Code of Canada),

which now permits medical assistance in dying, and detailed guidance for nurses.