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Keywords

ethics, HIV/AIDS, lesbian, nursing, occupational transmission

 

Authors

  1. Stevens, Patricia E. RN, PhD
  2. Hall, Joanne M. RN, PhD.

Abstract

This article proposes a new theoretical frame for ethical practice in nursing by locating ethical questions within the worlds of everyday nursing experience.The authors advocate a process of ethical thought and action that is not so much a weighing of dichotomized alternatives as a continual journey in which nurses delve deeper into their examination of clinical contexts, structural contingencies, and the meanings of experience for themselves and their clients. This theoretical vision is illustrated with a case study about a nurse who was infected with HIV on the job. The purposes in presenting the case study are to give testament to this brave woman's story, illustrate the dynamics of a contextualized ethics, and challenge nurses to make changes in practice, policy, and structure to foster truly ethical work and relations with others.