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Ethics and Leadership in Healthcare

Subject: Nursing
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Irwin (1995) asserts that ethics is the science of the human ideal characters and the principles of moral duty. It involves the various systematic ways of defending and making recommendation on concepts of write things and wrong conducts. Ethics defines the code of conduct with which people should engage in as it asks pertinent questions are to the best ways of how people can live in harmony and the actions which are either right or wrong depending on certain circumstances, (Irwin, T. (1995. Pp 148). In real practice and study, ethics is vital in the definition or finding solutions to questions human morality and the definition of wrong actions separated from write actions, evil actions separated from good actions, vice and virtue, justice or crime, and injustice. Within a working environment, there are certain ethical practices that governs the conduct of both the employees and employers on how service delivery should be done so as to ensure that the objective of the organization or firm is met. Ethics calls for strong leadership and good leaders are those who have and practice high moral standards in leading others and inspiring team members in achieving the objective of the firm.

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Non-maleficence and beneficence are some of the ethical principles that will be evaluated to assess their impact on leadership within the health care system. Beneficence requires nurses to be true to their duties and also patients` advocacy; non-maleficence requires nurses to be and remain competent in their duties to avoid inflicting pain and suffering for their patients, (Benjamin, M., & Curtis, J. 2010). To achieve this, critical evaluation, a definition and an in depth analysis of the two ethical principles in the first section. Consequently identify how the principles can prevent or solve leadership crisis in an organization in the second section. Subsequently incorporate the leadership ethical principles in my own leadership activities in the third section and finally offering a summery conclusion on the issues addressed from the leadership ethical principles.

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Section one: definition and explanation of terms

For the purposes of this paper, there are two key ethical principles that have been used. The two leadership principles of ethics used in nursing have been selected to show how they can bridge the gaps and reconcile leadership and professional practice in an organization. Non-maleficence is the ability or the requirement for nurses to remain competent within their various field of duty to avoid igniting any form of pain, injury or discomfort to his or her patient, (Lipe & Beasley, 2004). Non-maleficence encompasses also reporting of any misconduct or abuse to the patients. It entails the core of nursing or the entire healthcare professional oath. This means that everybody working as a health care provider should take care of their patients and take their work seriously to realize the objective of healthcare that is the provision of healthcare to everybody without causing them harm, pain or injury.

Ethics dictate that a person be professional by respecting the key issue he or she is trained and authorized to do, and that is better healthcare provision. It is important to not however, that at times nurses may be forced to subject a patient to intentional short time harm, in order to achieve the intended long time benefit. Even in this situation, ethics dictate that a person to cause very little pain to the patient. For instance, if a chemically impaired practitioner is offering wrong medication to a patient, the ethical principle of non-maleficence dictates that the nurse has to report the practitioner to protect the patient.

Beneficence is a key ethical practice in healthcare practice that involves patient advocacy and the duty to ensure that a patient gets the best available medication, (Hitchcock et al., 2003). Beneficence is at the heart of healthcare and includes nurses and other practitioners having compassion, and the feeling of doing well at all times to their patients, taking bold positive steps to help their patients, and constantly follow in the direction of goodwill to the patients always. For example is a patient in a nursing home falls down, a nurse nearby should get him painkillers as fast as possible if the patient broke some limbs for instance. The current leadership practices dictates accountability, hence the professional ethics helps the practitioner to know that this accountability comes with the practice of beneficence.

Section two: how principles solve/prevent leadership concern

The two ethical principles are very imperative in solving certain concerns in healthcare provision. The desire for healthcare organizations to align the behaviors of their employees with the goals and values of the organization and the dire need to achieve full accountabilities in the daily activities of the organization is critical in the advent of leadership and ethics in healthcare. Accountability is the ability or the action of being answerable to oneself and also others for the actions and inactions of an individual (Hendrick, 2000).

It is significant for leaders in a nursing facility to help in holding every person accountable for their overall actions within an organization and the part they play to help the firm achieve its objectives.  Beneficence is vital in the organizational achievement and realization of accountability. Beneficence motivates employees to be good to their patients and promote them values of care as required by law in the oath they take, but most importantly as needed by the patient. In most instances, the nurses practice beneficence hence help to be on top of their game. This ethical practice informs on the leadership of an organization to take actions on the proven cases where a nurse intentionally did not practice care to a patient who needed it, as such, feeling the leadership gap in nursing that an organization may need.

Borkowski (2015) postulates that the alignment of behaviors side by side with the goals and values of an organization indeed has been a gap that even the leadership of organizations face. Non-maleficence helps to solve this leadership gap in the health organizations as it is vital in inspiring nurses to not at all time do any harm to the patients, inflict pain to them or cause any unnecessary pain to them. The leadership gap that have existed in many organizations offering healthcare is how to match behaviors of various employees with the objectives of the organization. As such, non-maleficence prevents to some extent this from happening or solves this situation to an extent that nurses practicing in these organizations are cautious not to harm the patients or inflict pain to them, and in medical procedures where it happens maximum cation is considered.

Section three: incorporation into leadership within healthcare practice.

In my leadership within the healthcare system, I would incorporate beneficence and non-maleficence so as to create a leadership role to inspire and motivate other nurses to practice the same principles, not as law, but as a value that ought to be practiced by all medical practitioners. Leading by example is the best way to help other people in the organization to follow the same. In the same quest, I will conduct myself in a better way such that my actions are not only friendly to my patients, as in the case of beneficence but also to my colleagues. As such, I shall play an exemplary leadership to my peers to practice beneficence out of conviction by moral conscious to do so and not by the law or oath. In the same regard, non-maleficence will be practiced by my colleges nor because the law compels them to do the same, but because their leaders is doing the same. All will be incorporated by an enhanced communication system.


In summations, the concept of ethical practices has informed that it directs organizations and their employees to meet its objectives and vision. Leadership is best sawn or practiced if the leader exemplifies great ethical practices, voluntarily without being compelled by the law. In the healthcare service provision, beneficence, which is the compassion that nurses develop to do good to their patients at all time is critical in leadership. The practice of this ethical principle is significant in solving the accountability issues that organizations may face. Non-maleficence on the other had is imperative as it guides the relationship between the nurses and the patients to an extent that nurses don’t think of inflicting pain or injury to their patients. These principles are very important to me and I can incorporate them in my leadership activities by enhancing communication skills within the organization and between my colleagues and me.

1. Benjamin, M., & Curtis, J. (2010). Ethics in nursing: Cases, principles, and reasoning. Oxford University Press, USA.

2. Borkowski, N. (2015). Organizational behavior, theory, and design in health care. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. Pp 239.

3. Hendrick, J. (2000). Law and ethics in nursing and health care. Nelson Thornes. Pp 58.

4. Hitchcock, J. E., Schubert, P. E., & Thomas, S. A. (2003). Community health nursing: Caring in action (Vol. 1). Cengage Learning. Pp 143

5. Irwin, T. (1995). Plato’s ethics. Oxford University Press. Pp 148.

6. Lipe, S. K., & Beasley, S. (2004). Critical thinking in nursing: a cognitive skills workbook. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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