Even experienced maternal nurses continue to be perplexed by ethical questions. Should a court order be obtained to force pregnant women to comply with healthcare policies? Should women who abuse drugs while pregnant be legally charged with abusing the fetus? When presented with a pregnant woman in a critical state of health, who has the primary right to life, the woman or her baby? A study conducted by Boston College demonstrated that maternal nurses are bombarded with ethical situations on a daily basis for which they are not educationally prepared. Learning to deal with ethical issues can prove to be of primary importance for these nurses. Heinz R. Pagels (1988) stated “Science cannot resolve moral conflicts, but it can help to more accurately frame the debates around those conflicts”. Nurses have a right to receive ethics education, and more importantly, that education needs to contain universal knowledge as well as specific workplace resources.
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