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Keywords

morality, moral practices, moral responsibility, social construction of responsibility, taking responsibility

 

Authors

  1. Bjorklund, Pamela PhC, RN, CS, PMHNP

Abstract

Although the nursing literature overflows with references to the myriad things for which nurses and patients are de facto responsible, nurses have never explicitly examined the social construction of responsibility in any clinical context. This article reviews and integrates the empirical and philosophical literature on moral responsibility in the context of mental health nursing. It selectively reviews both traditional and feminist philosophical accounts to more deeply understand the socially constructed nature of responsibility and the implications for understanding morality in practice. It seeks to illuminate the concept of "taking responsibility" qua moral responsibility and asks what makes this notion of responsibility particularly "moral."