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Human rights are foundational to the health and well-being of all individuals and have remained a central tenet of nursing's ethical framework throughout history. The purpose of this study is to explore continuity and changes to human rights in nursing codes of ethics in the Canadian context. This study examines nursing codes of ethics between the years 1953 and 2017, which spans the very first code in Canada to the most recently adopted. The historical method is used to compare and contrast human rights language, positioning and descriptions between different code editions. The findings suggest there has been very little change in how human rights have been included within the Canadian nursing codes of ethics. Furthermore, we consider how changes within the nursing profession have influenced the authority of codes of ethics and their ability to support nurses in carrying out ethical obligations specific to human rights. Finally, the impacts and implications of these changes are discussed concerning the protection of human rights in today's healthcare landscape in Canada.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Nursing ethics
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The principles of proper professional conduct concerning the rights and duties of nurses themselves, their patients, and their fellow practitioners, as well as their actions in the care of patients and in relations with their families.
Deliberate maltreatment of groups of humans beings including violations of generally-accepted fundamental rights as stated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 217 A (III) of 10 December 1948.
The rights of the individual to cultural, social, economic, and educational opportunities as provided by society, e.g., right to work, right to education, and right to social security.
Fundamental claims of patients, as expressed in statutes, declarations, or generally accepted moral principles. (Bioethics Thesaurus) The term is used for discussions of patient rights as a group of many rights, as in a hospital's posting of a list of patient rights.
Research that derives data from observation, interviews, or verbal interactions and focuses on the meanings and interpretations of the participants (From Holloway and Wheeler, "Ethical issues in qualitative nursing research," Nursing Ethics, 1995 Sep; 2(3): 223-232).
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