Ethical, Legal, and Sociocultural Issues (ELSI) in Nursing

Sunday, 17 November 2013: 2:45 PM

Rose E. Constantino, RN, BSN, MN, JD, PhD, FAAN, FACFE
Department of Health and Community Systems, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, PA

What we don’t know about ethical, legal and sociocultural nursing practice issues could  affect expected practice outcomes. The purpose of this presentation is to examine the ethical, legal, and sociocultural issues (ELSI) confronting nurses in their education, research, practice or leadership roles. The critical work of saving lives, mending wounds, providing comfort, and restoring physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing is heightened by the intersecting demands of ethical, legal, and sociocultural obligations to society and the profession. The ethical issues in ELSI will include discussion of the ethical theories of consequentialism and nonconsequentialism, ethical principles of nonmalfeasance and beneficence, and ethical issues of autonomy, justice, veracity, fidelity, and whistle-blowing buttressed by the Code of Ethics for Nurses and ethical reasoning. The legal issue in ELSI will be presented including its theory of the law (a binding rule of conduct enforced by an authority to bring order to society as well as safeguard it), sources of the law (common law, the Constitution, statutes, and regulations), and areas of the law (criminal law, tort law, and public law). Case examples where nurses come in contact with ELSI are provided. The sociocultural issues in ELSI will be presented using the principles of accommodation, building a foundation, collaboration with internal and external resources, and diversification presented in the book as the A-B-C-D in sociocultural competence. Nurses’ realm of responsibility related to issues of personal, professional, and organizational accountability will gain knowledge from the discussion regardless of clinical area of practice.