BACKGROUND: The research question for this study was as follows: Is the Code of Ethics for Nurses in Italy (Code) a valid or useful decision-making instrument for nurses faced with ethical problems in their daily clinical practice?
METHOD: Focus groups were conducted to analyze specific ethical problems through 11 case studies. The analysis was conducted using sections of the Code as well as other relevant documents. Each focus group had a specific theme and nurses participated freely in the discussions according to their respective clinical competencies.
ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS: The executive administrative committee of the local nursing licensing council provided approval for conducting this project. Measures were taken to protect the confidentiality of consenting participants.
FINDINGS: The answer to the research question posed for this investigation was predominantly positive. Many sections of the Code were useful for discussion and identifying possible solutions for the ethical problems presented in the 11 cases.
CONCLUSION: We concluded that the Code of Ethics for Nurses in Italy can be a valuable aid in daily practice in most clinical situations that can give rise to ethical problems.
- Journal Article