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Engagement in contemporary practice: a relational ethics perspective

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Author(s): Wendy Austin

Journal: Texto & Contexto Enfermagem
ISSN 0104-0707

Volume: 15;
Issue: Especial;
Start page: 135;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Nursing ethics. Professional practice. Patient rights.

ABSTRACT
The challenges and constraints of meaningful engagement with patients are discussed from a standpoint of relational ethics. If openness to others and to their situation is the beginning of ethics, as is argued by philosophers whose work informs relational ethics, then in health care we must address that openness (or its lack) as it is lived by individual health professionals within the immediacy and complexity of their practice. If, as has been also argued, disengagement is the source of maleficence within healthcare systems, addressing constraints to engagement becomes particularly urgent.
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