Utilitarian and common-sense morality discussions in intercultural nursing practice
GE SubjectsEconomic ethics
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AbstractTwo areas of ethical conflict in intercultural nursing — who needs single rooms more, and how far should nurses go to comply with ethnic minority patients’ wishes? — are discussed from a utilitarian and common-sense morality point of view. These theories may mirror nurses’ way of thinking better than principled ethics, and both philosophies play a significant role in shaping nurses’ decision making. Questions concerning room allocation, noisy behaviour, and demands that nurses are unprepared or unequipped for may be hard to cope with owing to physical restrictions and other patients’ needs. Unsolvable problems may cause stress and a bad conscience as no solution is ‘right’ for all the patients concerned. Nurses experience a moral state of disequilibrium, which occurs when they feel responsible for the outcomes of their actions in situations that have no clear-cut solution.