Bioethical Decision Making in Nursing, Fifth Edition

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Bioethical Decision Making in Nursing, Fifth Edition

SKU# 9780826171436

Author: Gladys Husted PhD, MSN, RN, Carrie Scotto PhD, MSN, RN, James H. Husted , Kimberly Wolf PhD, MS, PMHCNS-BC


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"This book provides a systematic approach to bioethical decision making, a process that can help clarify situations where right and wrong are not clearly defined. This [is] a valuable book for ethics and theory courses." Score: 100, ?????


More relevant today than ever, Husted's classic nursing ethics text provides a practical framework to help nurses engage with patients to make difficult ethical decisions. It delivers a systematic approach to bioethical decision making that can help clarify situations where "right" and "wrong" are not clearly defined. An abundance of case studies provides practice in bioethical decision making, with nearly 45 bioethical dilemmas analyzed in detail. The fifth edition has been reorganized and rewritten to facilitate increased readability and to engage readers more fully in learning. It includes two new chapters, Moral Distress and Nursing Practice Intersections: Legal Decision Making Within a Symphonological Ethical Perspective, additional case studies, and abundant tables, diagrams, and graphics that reinforce the text discussion. Instructor resources are also available for adopters of the text.

The book is grounded in the concept of "symphonia," which, within the health care arena, is the study of agreements between health care professionals and patients and the ethical implications of these agreements. It is intended to promote the welfare of both patient and health care provider. The new chapter on moral distress discusses futile care among other causes of moral distress and offers coping techniques for situations in which a nurse has an ethical issue with a standard of care but is powerless to change that care. The other new chapter, Nursing Practice Intersections: Legal Decision Making Within a Symphonological Ethical Perspective, focuses on situations that can be interpreted as either moral and illegal, or immoral and legal. The fifth edition also features a new section on ethical colleagueship, providing support to relieve common dilemmas among health care professionals.


  • Reorganized and rewritten for ease of comprehension and increased reader engagement
  • Includes two new chapters, Moral Distress and Nursing Practice Intersections: Legal Decision Making Within a Symphonological Ethical Perspective
  • Provides more tables, diagrams, and graphics to clarify text discussion
  • Provides objectives at the beginning of each chapter
  • Expanded study guide at the end of each chapter
  • Delivers new case studies that are analyzed in depth
  • Includes four humorous scenarios in which the humor easily reveals the obvious from the obscure
  • Addresses ethical colleagueship

GLADYS L. HUSTED, PhD, MSNEd, RN, is professor emeritus of nursing at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received a master's in nursing education from the University of Pittsburgh, where she also completed her PhD in curriculum and supervision. She was awarded the title of School of Nursing Distinguished Professor in 1998. She has retired from full-time employment at Duquesne University but continues to teach part time in the MSN and PhD programs. Her main area of expertise is in bioethics. She continues to write and consult. Her other areas of expertise are in curriculum design, instructional strategies, and theory development. Dr. Husted's website can be accessed at

JAMES H. HUSTED is an independent scholar. He is a member of the American Philosophical Association and the North American Spinoza Society. He has been a member of the high IQ societies, Mensa and Intertel. He was the philosophy expert for Dial-An-M for Mensa, as well as the philosophy editor of Integra, the journal of Intertel.

CARRIE J. SCOTTO, PhD, RN, is an associate professor at the University of Akron School of Nursing, where she teaches pathophysiology and pharmacology. She earned her BSN and MSN from the University of Akron and her PhD from Duquesne University. As an educator and clinician, she has a vested interest in bioethics. She has served more than 20 years at the bedside as a critical care nurse. Her research related to adherence to prescribed treatment for cardiac patients and therapeutic clinical interventions for critically ill patients has been presented nationally and is published in professional journals. She is a member of Sigma Theta Tau International, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association.

KIMBERLY M. WOLF, PhD, PMHCNS-BC, is a psychiatric-mental health clinical nurse specialist at Hennepin County Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner track director at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota. She also teaches part time as an adjunct faculty in the nursing department at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received a master's degree in science in advanced practice psychiatric-mental health nursing from the University of North Dakota. She received a PhD from Duquesne University in 2013. She enjoys her work as a full-time provider in the busy urban county hospital but also values actively teaching in master's and doctoral programs. Her interest areas are bioethics, cultural competency, and psychiatric-mental health advanced practice nursing.


SUZANNE EDGETT COLLINS, JD, PhD, MPH, RN, is a nurse-attorney with experience in the areas of medical and nursing malpractice, legal and bioethics education of allied health care practitioners, and consultation practice in licensure defense, health law/policy, and health care risk management. She is a professor in the Department of Nursing at the University of Tampa. Her particular areas of expertise focus on the intersections of law, ethics, health policy/economics, and nursing. Her research interests include issues of nursing law and ethics, patient safety and nursing error, and social and behavioral issues among nurses, including topics such as rule bending, practice act violations, and facilitators/barriers to new nurse retention. She has published on the topics of nursing law and ethics and has been a presenter at educational conferences.

Product Details 

  • Publication Date November 21, 2014
  • Page Count 304
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826171436
  • EISBN 9780826171443

Table of Contents 


List of Case Study Dilemmas

List of Figures and Tables




1. Ethical Foundations

2. The Ethical Journey Taken by the Patient and Nurse

3. The Nurse–Patient Agreement

4. The Bioethical Standards and Their Role as Preconditions of the Agreement

5. The Nature of the Ethical Context

6. Contemporary Ethical Systems

7. Nursing Practice Intersections: Legal Decision Making Within a Symphonological Ethical Perspective
Suzanne Edgett Collins

8. Practice-Based Ethics and the Bioethical Standards as Lenses

9. Moral Distress


10. The Power of Analysis Through Extremes

11. Elements of Human Autonomy

12. Virtues as Resources


Analyses of Dilemmas




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