Pls find the paper as follows(and also enclosed)
My Reflections on the Legal and Ethical Aspects of Healthcare Course
Before this course, I guess I never thought much of either Ethics or Law. I took it for granted that what I was doing as a nurse was as per what ‘every nurse does’. Surely, the policy (i.e. what- every-nurse-does) has to be as per the law, and if was as per the law, I thought it has to be ethical. That’s what I thought before this course.
Before this course began, I thought the course will help me in my nursing skills. It will impart to me the knowledge that every good nurse requires so that I can excel in my profession. I think that only the ‘Healthcare’ portion struck on my mind. The more important terms like ‘legal’ and ‘ethical’ just did not strike me.
After, taking this course, I guess I am embarrassed about my ignorance as regards what I had thought about nursing before. This course really matured me. I can now understand the difference between the law and ethics. This course has helped me to learn something about the judicial system and I am embarrassed to say that I knew nothing about it earlier. All these court verdicts and issues which went above me earlier now make perfect sense to me. I can now hold my own in a discussion about the ethics in my profession, which is, nursing. I now feel that this course has given me the knowledge which I require to be a complete nurse.
There are plenty of individuals who somehow think of nursing as a profession which does not require much mental acumen. I always thought this was wrong before but I was not sure why. From this course, I now know that nurses are more than attendants who just follow the physician’s instructions. Nursing is a separate room in the big house called “healthcare” and not merely a temporary small attachment to the “physician” room. Healthcare will not function without us nurses. I have also learned that there are attitudes and opinions in the world outside concerning controversial subjects such as “euthanasia” or “late abortion” or “patient confidentiality” which have no right or wrong answers. The law and the ethics depend upon the context, the situation, the environment etc. In nursing, every step I take requires me to take an ethical decision. Fortunately for me, I have not faced any big issues till now, as I would not have known what to do. After this course, my capabilities have changed. There will always be critics but I need not go that way and let such discussions bother me. Nurses have to be professionals and if some people do not think so, they are wrong. It is as simple as that.
As I have already said, this course has given me the knowledge that being on the legal and ethical side of things is more than what a book says. I feel that this course has developed in me a high degree of empathy which is necessary in my profession and which was maybe lacking in me before.
My professional development will of course be fashioned by my experience but I can say assuredly, that it will be guided by ethics. For example, no medicine will ever be administered to a patient without double checking that it is correct. The newly born infants who received 1000 times more heparin than they were supposed to get in the Cedars Sinai Hospital was all because of not checking. Such mistakes will never happen with me. The patient is more to me than a resource which is used in my profession. It is a human being, similar to me and deserves every bit of consideration and checking before me. I am not very brave but taking this course has brought out a change in me inside. I can say that my professional development will be based on ethics to the degree I feel necessary and even someone with a gun will not be able to shift me from that stand henceforth. I am a coward otherwise but something deep inside me has installed certain values. I can hardly wait to start working again with those values in place.