Truth-telling is a key issue within the nurse-patient relationship. Nurses make decisions on a daily basis regarding what information to tell patients. This paper analyses truth-telling within an end of life scenario. Virtue ethics provides a useful philosophical approach for exploring decisions on information disclosure in more detail. Virtue ethics allows appropriate examination of the moral character of the nurse involved, their intention, ability to use wisdom and judgement when making decisions and the virtue of truth-telling. It is appropriate to discuss nursing as a ‘practice’ in relation to virtue ethics. This is achieved through consideration of the implications of arguments made by Alasdair MacIntyre who believes that qualities such as honesty, courage and justice are virtues because they enable us to achieve the internal goods of practices.
- access to care advocacy autonomy boundaries boundary burnout CAS case management case study challenges faced by professionals client choice client safety community ethics community relations community safety confidentiality conflict of interest conflict with family consent and capacity culture determing capacity dignity discharge planning disclosure diversity duty to care elderly care ethical decision-making ethics ethics committees ethics program family going against organizational policy home home care home care ethics Honesty illegal activities inappropriate demands language legal obligation living at risk long-term care misunderstanding of role of PSW Moral deliberation moral distress moral duty to report nurse nursing home organisational culture PAIN medicine palliative care pediatric Personal support worker (PSW) personal values policy priority setting privacy professional responsability professional safety quality of service refusal of service relational ethics resource allocation resources risk management self determination service withdrawl social work spirituality staff safety substitute decision maker (SDM) suspected abuse truth-telling whistleblowing