Ethical Issues in Oncology Nurses’ Practice

Oncology nurses encounter numerous legal and ethical issues whenever providing services to their patients. The selected article reveals that the common ones include patient care, end-of-life, and human rights issues (Park, 2009). These challenges make it impossible for them to formulate evidence-based or timely decisions throughout the care delivery process. Legal issues emerge whenever medication errors and sentinel events occur.

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Oncology nurses might be held responsible for such occurrences and even face prosecution. Sometimes they are required to act against their wishes or views. Emerging technologies are also making care delivery complex since they make it hard for caregivers to balance quality and cost (Park, 2009). Staffing patterns, abuses, and obstacles encountered in clinical settings also continue to affect the experiences of many oncology nurses. These legal and ethical issues require the attention of policymakers, health leaders, and theorists.

Many nurses have devised unique methods to deal with the outlined issues. Park (2009) indicates that the majority of them use their values to overcome the challenges they encounter. Others seek guidance from their peers, colleagues, or teammates. Ethics committees also fail to support their needs. A small number of oncology nurses embrace the idea of ethical decision-making to achieve their potential.

The author acknowledges that there are unique gaps that make it impossible for many nurses to address most of the ethical and legal issues affecting their goals (Park, 2009). This is the reason why there is a need for policymakers and leaders to provide adequate ethical decision-making tools and resources to every practitioner. Nursing education should also equip practitioners with evidence-based skills and strategies to mitigate every emerging ethical issue.


Park, M. (2009). Ethical issues in nursing practice. Journal of Nursing Law, 13(3), 68-77. Web.

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