Nursing Ethics in Stem Cell Research: Perceived Attitudes and Beliefs of Nurses.

Walker, P.
Kovacich, J.
Presentation Date: 
Monday, October 17, 2016
Event or Conference: 
Qualitative Health Research (QHR) Conference
Presentation Type: 
Poster Presentation
Peer Reviewed: 
This presentation has been peer reviewed.
Boyer's Domain: 
Presentation Location: 
Kelowna,
Canada
Abstract: 
Stem cell research holds great potential for better medical treatments and cures but is also plagued with controversies related to sourcing of embryonic stem cells, ethical debates about the personhood of embryos, and fears due to misconceptions about the processes of stem cell research and treatment in general. The purpose of this descriptive case study was to explore the perceived attitudes and beliefs toward the bioethical issues of stem cell research among acute care nursing professionals. Twenty registered nurses (17 female and 3 male) ranging in age from 21 to 50 plus participated in semi-structured interviews. All participants had at least three years of acute care nursing experience and were currently working in an acute care facility in the State of Washington. The constant comparative method of data analysis was employed to collectively analyze data. NVivo 10 software was used to aid in organization, coding, pattern identification and theme generation. Ten themes emerged from the analysis: possible benefits, support for research, static attitudes, ethical concerns, source of cells, fear of cloning, federal funding, regulation, public education, and training. Results of the study indicated that nurses regarded the potential benefits of stem cell research as important, were generally supportive of stem cell research, and had unchanging attitudes toward stem cell research. The nurses also expressed concern regarding the sourcing of stem cells and discussed the handling of bedside ethical concerns. The need for both professional and public education and training regarding stem cell research and treatment was emphasized.
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