© 2017

Key Concepts and Issues in Nursing Ethics

  • P. Anne Scott
  • Focuses on the ethical dimension of live, contemporary issues in nursing care

  • Offers detailed vignettes from a real patient/nursing context or practice-based research study

  • Discusses the key ethical issues and potential approaches

  • Contributors, by design, come from various clinical, education, literature, moral philosophy and health ethics backgrounds


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Derek Sellman
    Pages 43-54
  3. Ann Gallagher
    Pages 55-68
  4. Alan J. Kearns
    Pages 69-81
  5. Anna-Marie Greaney, Dónal P. O’Mathúna
    Pages 83-99
  6. P. Anne Scott
    Pages 101-113
  7. Janet Holt
    Pages 115-128
  8. Janet Holt
    Pages 129-143
  9. Grahame Smith
    Pages 145-157
  10. P. Anne Scott
    Pages 191-205

About this book


Short case studies, based on real stories from the health care arena, ensure that each chapter of this book is rooted in descriptions of nursing practise that are grounded, salient narratives of nursing care. The reader is assisted to explore the ethical dimension of nursing practice: what it is and how it can be portrayed, discussed, and analysed within a variety of practice and theoretical contexts. One of the unique contributions of this book is to consider nursing not only in the context of the individual nurse – patient relationship but also as a social good that is of necessity limited, due to the ultimate limits on the nursing and health care resource. This book will help the reader consider what good nursing looks like, both within the context of limitations on resources and under conditions of scarcity.

Indeed, any discussion of ethical issues in nursing should be well grounded in a conceptualisation of nursing that nursing students and practising nursing can recognise, accept and engage with. Nursing, like medicine, social work and teaching has a clear moral aim – to do good. In the case of nursing to do good for the patient. However it is vital that in the pressurised, constrained health service of the 21st century, we help nurses explore what this might mean for nursing practice and what can reasonably be expected of the individual nurse in terms of good nursing care.


Nursing Ethics Person Autonomy Resource allocation and rationing of care

Editors and affiliations

  • P. Anne Scott
    • 1
  1. 1.Vice President for Equality & DiversityNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland

About the editors

Prof P Anne Scott has been Dean of the Faculty of Education, Health and Community Liverpool John Moores University since August 2014. Immediately prior to this she was Professor of Nursing and Deputy President and Registrar, Dublin City University (DCU). Anne is also a former Head of the School of Nursing and Human Sciences, DCU (September 2000 to end of January 2006). Her research interests include the ethics domain of health care practice, the philosophy and ethics of health care, judgement and decision-making in clinical practice and health services research-focusing on the health work force.
Prof. Scott is an experienced PhD supervisor and examiner. She made some recent external examining appointments with Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (March 2015), University of Stirling (April 2014), University of York (2009). She also received many research grants and wrote many articles on an international scale.
Anne has been a member of a number of Research Funding Agencies and Health service agencies in Ireland – Board member of the Health Research Board, Founding member of the Irish Council for Bioethics, Board member of the Health Service Executive (Ireland). Currently, Anne is a member of the Board of Governors of the Royal Liverpool and Broad Greed Hospitals NHS Trust.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Key Concepts and Issues in Nursing Ethics
  • Editors P. Anne Scott
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2017
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Medicine Medicine (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-49249-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-84114-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-49250-6
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIX, 221
  • Number of Illustrations 27 b/w illustrations, 223 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Nursing
    Public Health
    Practice and Hospital Management
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Health & Hospitals


“This collection of essays reviews philosophical and theoretical ethics issues in the field of nursing. … Although written primarily for nursing students, the book can be used by nursing professionals at all levels. … This book explains the philosophical roots of nursing ethics in more depth than a typical nursing book. It is an excellent one-stop resource for nurses who want to see philosophy in action.” (Brandy M. Fox, Doody’s Book Reviews, June, 2017)