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Nurs Ethics. 1995 Sep;2(3):185-96.

Artificial personhood: nursing ethics in a medical world.


Artificial persons are those who speak and act for others. Nurses speak and act for patients as well as for physicians and institutions, or, more aptly, institutionalized medicine. Yet, acting for institutionalized medicine can be harmful to nurses, due to the psychological experience of moral distress and the loss of integrity of their practice. This paper illustrates the harm to nurses as expressed in narratives of their practice, and suggests some initial steps we might take in resisting the artificial personhood imposed by institutionalized medicine.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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