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J Transcult Nurs. 2000 Apr;11(2):119-26.

Ethics and cross-cultural nursing.

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  • 1Department of Nursing, New York Institute of Technology, USA.


This article examines how cultural misunderstandings and language differences generate ethical dilemmas in cross-cultural nursing. It explores the consequences of actions that result when health care providers lack an awareness of the value systems of patients that differ from their own. Described are the principles arising from ethical theory, their application to nursing, and incorporation into professional codes of ethics. Two case studies illustrate the close relationship between culture, health, and communication, with language barriers a significant factor in predicting the outcomes of care. Recommendations are offered for cultural competency training for health care institutions, nursing administrators, and nursing educators.

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