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Advances in Nursing Science:
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Covenantal relationships: Grounding for the nursing ethic.

Cooper, Mary Carolyn RN, MSN

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Abstract

This article is in reaction to recent articles in Advances In Nursing Science by Yarling and McElmurry and Bishop and Scudder, which interpret the nursing ethic as grounded in the social reform of the institution or in the role of the nurse on the health care team. It is argued here that covenantal relationships between the nurse and the patient provide a more substantial foundation for the nursing ethic. Arising from the moral principle of fidelity, this model furnishes guidance for the nurse, a link for the nursing ethic with traditional moral theory, and, most important, a grounding in the unique experience of the nurse-patient relationship.

(C) 1988 Aspen Publishers, Inc.

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