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Johns Hopkins University
Ebola and the ethics of nursing
Ebola and the ethics of nursing

Nurses from West Africa to California have gone on strike to make their concerns about the Ebola crisis known. But what are the ethical considerations that come into play when nurses take such actions while their patients may be dying? Fundamentally, nurses are committed to caring for their patients. A strike — walking off the job and away from patients — is an extreme act, and the decision to walk away is never made lightly. It should always be the last resort. In taking it, nurses are not just speaking up for themselves and their current patients but for their future patients as well. Research has shown that fixing a problem in clinical care "now" can help avoid...