Child Abuse Dilemma for Nurses

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Nursing

Document 1

Nurses are at the heart of protecting and improving the welfare and wellbeing of children who they think are at the danger of harm from suspects who range from caregivers and family members. In so doing, they need to ensure that they consider a number of ethical factors so that they can be able to balance and justify what is wrong and what is right as they intervene to save the children from abuse. The nurses are always in a dilemma where they contemplate on either to report a health malpractice in the case child abuse or not to report. Different penal code policies are in place to direct reporters to report any incidence in which a nurse or any stakeholder thinks that health of a child is compromised to the relevant authorities (Chadwick Center, 2012).

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Therefore, it is important to look at different ethical laws and theories concerning child abuse, relevance of the issue to health professionals, and critique of the child abuse as an ethical issue. Ethical Dimension of Child Abuse The introduction of the contemporary mandatory reporting by nurses law has revolutionized the ethical conduct of the nurses I reporting and attending to the cases of child abuse. It is immoral if not just a nurse or any health practitioner and members of the public see a child getting abused and choose not to report Nurses have an obligation and a responsibility to ensure safety and health of children is guaranteed. It is true that children are some of the most vulnerable members of the community and therefore, it is important for them to be protected at all costs.

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It is not just a big issue when a child is sexually or physical abused, but neglecting a child’s right also affects children psychologically and nurses need to ensure that they take care of this to the same. Therefore, it is important for the nurses to protect the child’s family but report any acts of intolerance by the guardians as well Relevance of Issue to Health Professions Nurses and other relevant stakeholders in healthcare do require a lot of awareness in ensuring that children are not at risk when it comes to averting any risk. Department of Health and Human Services, 2010). The issue of child abuse and mandatory and voluntary reporting of the children’s maltreatment has gained little attention.

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Some nurses decide not to report these cases on fear that they might be wrong about what a child is going through (Chadwick Center, 2012). The moral autonomy of nurses even to report to their colleagues about negligence in taking care of patients should not be compromised by the friendship they have but with the professional standards they have sworn to protect during their careers. Ethical Analysis The need for agency response in child abuse cases is an expensive experience. Nurses should also observe deontological theory of ethical conduct where they ensure that they follow the rules that are stipulated in the penal code. The policies that are enacted to protect children from abuse and violence should be based on helping the children and not maintaining their family ties.

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Penal code requires any person who believes that a child is being sexually abused, psychologically, or physically should report to the authorities immediately for action in helping a child (Campbell et al. Observing the rules ensures that they are controlled with the system and therefore eradicates the emotional compromise a nurse might have regarding compromising the relationship between a child and their caregivers (Douglas & Walsh, 2010). It is always the duty of the nurse as a professional to ensure that they act appropriately to treat every patient they come across irrespective their age. Child abuse manifests in forms of sexual abuse, psychological torture, and parental neglect. All these instances call for a sober evaluation of facts as well as professionalism from the nurses to quantify whether a child needs to be protected from the family and if so, the benefits and negative impacts of doing so.

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However, the introduction of the mandatory and voluntary reporting practices by the government has created an avenue for the nurses to have an obligation to balance between what is wrong and what is right in the child abuse cases. Reporting of such cases to the relevant authorities ensures that the child is saved from manipulation from their offenders so that they can live a healthy life. It is my opinion that the healthcare workers should be driven by the end results using the consequentialism theory as well as deontological theory of ethics to determine what is wrong and right in reporting the instances of child neglect and other abuses. & Walsh, T. Mothers, domestic violence, and child protection. Violence against women. Vol.

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