What is nonmaleficence in nursing/nonmaleficence definition medical terms? What is an example of nonmaleficence?
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Define nonmaleficence: Nonmaleficence is a negative action. Nonmaleficence means that you shouldn’t do anything that could hurt someone (mental, physical, psychological, financial, social, spiritual, symbolic etc.). It includes things like giving bad care, not respecting someone’s dignity, breaking their privacy, making them feel hopeless, ruining their reputation, misleading a younger coworker, and making a social group look bad. Nonmaleficence is necessary for trust and fairness.
But sometimes, it’s all right to let some harm happen to prevent more harm (called a “double effect”) or when a more fundamental principle takes precedence over nonmaleficence. In these situations, it is always best to ask the ethicist or the person who is hurt for their free and well-informed consent.
Meaning of nonmaleficence in nursing
Nonmaleficence means that a physician has to care not to hurt a patient. This simple principle is the basis for some moral rules, such as “don’t kill,” “don’t hurt or hurt others,” “don’t offend,” and “don’t take away the good things in life from others.”
The physician must assess the benefits and burdens of all interventions and treatments to pick the optimal course of action for the patient. This is especially crucial in end-of-life care decisions, including life-sustaining treatment, medically administered nourishment and hydration, pain, and other symptom control.
Example of nonmaleficence in nursing practice
- Stopping a harmful medicine (drugs)
- Not giving a treatment that hasn’t been proven to work
In caring for patients, there are times when it seems like some harm is inevitable, and we are usually morally obligated to choose the lesser of the two evils. However, the lesser evil may depend on the situation. For example, most people would be willing to endure some pain if it meant living longer.
Beneficence vs nonmaleficence
“beneficence” and “nonmaleficence” mean doing good things for others and not hurting them. There is a big difference between the two, even though they are related. Beneficence is the act of helping other people, while nonmaleficence is the act of not hurting other people.
So, the main difference between the two is that nonmaleficence means not hurting other people, while beneficence means helping them. When you put both ideas together, the main point is that you must act in a way that helps the other person and isn’t based on your beliefs.
Balancing beneficence and nonmaleficence is one of the most common ethical problems. This balance between the benefits and risks of treatment is important for almost every medical decision, like whether to order a certain test, medication, operation, procedure, or treatment.
By giving informed consent, physicians help patients understand a procedure’s risks and advantages. In the end, the patient is the one who decides how important the risks and benefits are. Still, the possible benefits of any action must be greater than the risks for the action to be ethical.
Well, I hope you understand about nonmaleficence definition & examples of nonmaleficence in nursing practice.