Is the 2008 NMC Code ethical?

Pattison, Stephen and Wainwright, Paul (2010) Is the 2008 NMC Code ethical? Nursing Ethics, 17(1), pp. 9-18. ISSN (print) 0969-7330


In 2008 the United Kingdom Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) published the latest version of its code of conduct (The code: standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives). The new version marked a significant change of style in the Code compared with previous versions. There has been considerable controversy and the accrual of an extensive body of literature over the years in the UK and Europe criticizing nursing codes of ethics and questioning their ethical standing and their usefulness. In this article we review the current NMC Code. We argue that the NMC has been misguided in labelling the Code as a code of ethics, and suggest that the new document falls short in many respects.

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