Midwifery students’ reactions to ethical dilemmas encountered in outpatient clinics

Journal article


Apay SE, Gürol A, Gür EY and Church, S. (2020). Midwifery students’ reactions to ethical dilemmas encountered in outpatient clinics . Nursing Ethics.
AuthorsApay SE, Gürol A, Gür EY and Church, S.
Abstract

Background:
Midwives are required to make ethical decisions with the support of respective codes of professional ethics which provide a framework for decision making in clinical practice. Whilst each midwife should be ethically aware and sensitive to the ever-changing issues within reproduction, few empirical studies have examined the views of student midwives in relation to reproductive ethical dilemmas.
Objective: The aim of this study was to explore midwifery students’ reactions to a number of ethical dilemmas relating to women’s experiences of reproductive decision making.
Design: A series of focus groups were conducted with midwifery students who were asked to discuss five culturally significant scenarios including issues of knowledge acquisition regarding methods of family planning, removal or insertion of an Intrauterine Device, and abortion.
Setting: A University, Turkey.
Participants: Purposeful sampling was adopted which resulted in five focus groups with a total of 57 midwifery students.
Ethical considerations: The study was reviewed and granted formal ethical approval by an ethical committee at the Faculty of Health Science in Atatürk University. The head of the Faculty of Health Science approved the investigation. The participants received both oral and written information about the study and they gave their consent.
Results: Five themes were identified from the analysis of the focus group data related to all five scenarios. These themes were: “The right to information”; “choice and protection”; “parental rights and welfare of the women”; “make a decision”; “women rights and sexual abuse”.
Conclusions: This study has shown that whilst students respected women’s choice, they also expressed great ambivalence in some situations when personal values conflict with dominant societal beliefs and professional ethics. A focus on ethics education to include human rights is suggested as a means to enable students to explore their own social-value judgments, and as a means to limit the possible development of ethical confusion and moral distress.

KeywordsEthical Dilemma, Midwifery, Reproduction, Students,
Year2020
JournalNursing Ethics
PublisherSage
ISSN0969-7330
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/0969733020922875
Publication dates
Print21 May 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted04 Apr 2020
Deposited09 Jun 2020
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
File Access Level
Controlled
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