Accidents and ethics: a visual-narrative approach
Evidence & Practice    

Accidents and ethics: a visual-narrative approach

Catherine Gadd Advanced nurse practitioner trainee, Leighton Hospital emergency department, Crewe, England
Colin Jones

Emergency department (ED) attendances are continuing to rise, and medical and nursing teams are working under considerable strain. ED clinicians are used to thinking on their feet and possess the skills to multitask, and juggle ever-changing and competing priorities against the clock. This article reports the findings of a study that enabled ED clinicians to take time out to reflect on some of the difficult decisions they make daily, and to ask whether they consider ethical principles in depth, and if they are of any practical help. Findings reveal that autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and distributive justice are evident in contemporary EDs, and clinicians need to be encouraged to incorporate ethical reasoning into their reflective practice. The term ‘clinician’ refers to doctors and nurses in this article.

Emergency Nurse. doi: 10.7748/en.2018.e1727


Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared


Thanks to Mr John Bache FRCS for all his guidance, encouragement and support with this project

Received: 02 May 2017

Accepted: 13 September 2017

Published online: 01 February 2018