Code of Ethics vs Catholic Directives

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Religion & Theology ・APA ・2 Sources

The code of ethics consists of nine provisions. The first to third provisions highlight nurses' essential obligations and ideals. The fourth through sixth provisions address the problem of loyalty and responsibility, while the remaining provisions tackle the concept of duty much beyond the client's expectations. The code of ethics has three goals: it is a requirement for all individuals who join the nursing profession to adhere to ethical duties and obligations; nursing is a profession that does not negotiate its outlined ethical standards; and nursing is a profession that requires personal understanding and commitment to the community. Differences between Code of Ethics and Catholic Directives. In contrast, Catholic directives serve two primary purposes that include emphasizing on ethical standards of conduct in healthcare that emanate from Catholic belief concerning the self-respect of the human. The second aim is to offer authoritative outline regarding moral problems that Catholic health system encounter every day.

Catholic directives remind nurses that Catholic health care system is a continuance of God’s healing work and life-giving and thus the services they offer are based on mutual respect, honesty, dignity, and trust. They perceive health care structure as an extension of the healing work of Jesus Christ to the people of God, mainly those who are in need. The provision of care is not restricted to the treatment of illnesses but also embraces the psychological, physical, spiritual and social scopes of the human. Conversely, codes of ethics are grounded on providing quality and safe health care services and upholding client dignity irrespective of their social-economic status.

Similarities between Code of Ethics and Catholic Directives

Both doctrines accede that nurses have been called in their profession to apply the knowledge gained through professional teaching, the skills gathered through work experience, the hunger to care for other people, and to make a considerable change in lives of their patients. Nurses are required to uphold their organization and professional standards while trying to strive for their patient’s best attention and engage other multidisciplinary groups in offering quality and safe care.The nine provisions are in agreement with Catholic social duty of health care service to defend, promote and aim to protect the safety, health, and rights of all patients without discrimination. Both institutions focus on contributing to the common good of all citizens.

Differences between ANA and ICN codes of ethics

The American Nurses Association (ANA) codes of ethics is made up of nine provisions that are divided into three broad categories as mentioned above while the International Council of Nurses (ICN) codes of ethics are classified into four different categories. These categories outline the responsibilities and duties of nursing as a whole and individual nurse. These categories include: to prevent illness, to alleviate suffering, promote health, and to restore health. ICN codes of ethics offer a model to guide nursing behaviors in practice, leadership, and education.

Conversely, the three main difference categories of the ANA code of ethics are found within the fundamental commitments and values of the nurse, duties far beyond patient expectations, and the boundaries of loyalty and duty. Besides that, dignity, integrity, and self-respect are part of these codes. ANA codes and ethics need nurses to be loyal and attentive when executing their mandate and be conscious of conflict of interest and ethical issues that could implicate patient care and relationships.

Similarities between ANA and ICN Codes of Ethics

Both ANA and ICN code of ethics agree that nursing attention is universal and there are primary inherent standards that offer the model for nursing practice within the provision of nursing concern. They both perceive nursing as a system offer care and embraces human right without discrimination of culture, color, nationality, gender, race, illness or even social status. The chief nurse pledge is to the patient, whether a group, family, community or an individual.


Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. (2009). United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1-43. Retrieved March 29, 2017, from

The ICN code of ethics for nurses. (2012). Geneva: International Council of Nurses.

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