Ethical issues in maternal and child health nursing: challenges faced by maternal and child health nurses and strategies for decision making
Background: Health care givers, particularly midwives, perinatal and neonatal nurses, face ethical issues possibly because of their interactions with patients and clients in the reproductive age groups. These issues are multiple and quite complex.
Aim: To identify the ethical issues related to maternal and child care, the challenges faced by the nurses and to profer strategies for decision making.
Methods: This is a literature review on ethical issues in maternal and child health nursing, challenges faced by maternal and child health nurses and strategies for decision making. Literatures related to the topic was gathered from pertinent literature, completed research works and published articles retrieved from searches of computerized databases and their findings were discussed.
Findings: It was observed that maternal and child health nurses are usually faced with the problems of decision making in dealing with ethical issues in practice. It is either they make a wrong decision, delay decision making or fall in a state of dilemma when dealing with such issues.
Conclusion: This review revealed that ethical issues remain a challenge. Maternal and child health nurses need to be aware of the steps in decision making, and be conversant with their professional ethics.
Keywords: Ethical issues, decision making, maternity nursing, ethical principles, maternal and child health, child bearing age