Being in the world of the suffering patient: A challenge to nursing ethics
Journal/Book: Nurs Ethics. 1999; 6: 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH, England. Arnold, Hodder Headline Plc. 528-539.
Abstract: Ethics in caring is what we actually make explicit through our approach and how we invite the suffering patient into a faring relationship. This phenomenological study investigates suffering and health and how this presupposes a deeper reflection on ethics in caring. The aim was to try to discover, describe and understand how patients experience their life situation three years after undergoing surgery. The theoretical approach is based on central aspects of Eriksson's caritative theory (i.e. The view of the person as body, soul and spirit). The informants were four women and four men aged between 55 and 77 years. The empirical material revealed suffering that was connected with both illness and life. Suffering involves experiences of grief, loneliness and struggling. Health implies a yearning for something beyond the current life situation, a yearning to experience some meaning in lift. This leads to an awareness of unplumbed possibilities. Understanding the experiences of individual patients demands of us, as both researchers and nurses, to act, seeking after the scientific truth (i.e. A deeper reflection of the ontological, epistemological and methodological questions). The idea of responsibility helps us to interpret and meet the innermost desires of suffering patients in their true presence. Caritative caring ethics means 'being there', confirming patients' absolute dignity; it is a manifestation of the love that 'just exists'. Compassion requires an inner disposition to go with others to the places where they are weak, vulnerable, lonely and broken. An ontology of caring provides both a starting point and a context for reflection about ethics and the ethical life.
Note: Article Raholm MB, Abo Akad Univ, Dept Caring Sci, Radhusgatan 16, POB 311, FIN-65101 Vasa, FINLAND
Keyword(s): caring; ethics; health; suffering; CORONARY