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pISSN : 2005-8284 / eISSN : 2234-3598

2020 KCI Impact Factor : 1.31
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2021, Vol.24, No.3

  • 1.

    Making Decisions for Unbefriended Patients on Life-Sustaining-Treatment in South Korea: Healthcare Providers’ Experiences

    CHOI Jiyeon | JEON Heejung | LEE Ilhak | 2021, 24(3) | pp.271~285 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    Purpose: This study attempts to clarify the difficulties faced by healthcare professionals in South Korea in making and implementing Life-Sustaining Treatment (LST) decisions for vulnerable patients who lack legally competent proxy decision-makers. Materials and Methods: First, a keyword analysis was performed on the official responses of the National Health Agency of Korea to 750 questions from healthcare workers. Second, a survey probing the difficulties that healthcare professionals face in making LST decisions was administered to the ethics committee members of 246 medical institutions. Results: From the keyword analysis, 139 keywords were categorized into ten subcategories. The survey had a 32.5% response rate, and of the respondents, 41.98% faced difficulties in making decisions for unrepresented patients because of the absence of family members or due to inadequate evidence. Among these patients, 82.35% did not have decision-making ability at the time of need and 85.29% had no family members to consult with. Conclusion: Four categories of “unbefriended” patients were identified in this study. Additionally, in uncovering evidence on how LST decisions are implemented and creating a category of “unbe-friended patients,” this study underscores the need to expand the scope of legal proxies under the LST Decisions Act.
  • 2.

    Constitutional Discordance Adjudication on Criminal Abortion and the Right to Self-determination: Focusing on the discourse of ‘liberty as non-domination’

    KIM MOONJEONG | 2021, 24(3) | pp.287~302 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    Abortion is both a personal issue and a social problem. It should be viewed from a holistic point of view, one that takes into account, not only the decisions women make to terminate or continue pregnancies, but also their decisions concerning childbirth and nurturing. The dichotomous “pro-choice versus pro-life” debate is incapable of resolving the complex social and ethical issues associated with abortion. Moreover, discussions of the right to life of an embryo/fetus typically assume a controversial hierarchy of rights as well as a questionable concept of normality. And confusion between the right to life and protection of life raises new challenges in the policy debates concerning abortion. Liberty as non-domination is not something that one can enjoy as an isolated atomic entity. Rather, it is only in its relation to fellow citizens and the state that one can experience such freedom. Liberty as non-domination also emphasizes the state's civic responsibility to accept, and appropriately respond to, constructive criticism. This article advances the view that the ideal of liberty as non-domination has implications for abortion. Among other things, it provides an ethical basis for understanding and enhancing reproductive rights, which are also human rights.
  • 3.

    Nursing Ethics during COVID-19 Pandemic: Focusing on the Ethics of Care

    Kong, Byung-Hye | 2021, 24(3) | pp.303~315 | number of Cited : 1
    Abstract PDF
    The ethic of care in nursing presupposes a narrative understanding of patients in vulnerable situations. This ethic has both has both reciprocal and protective ethical dimensions. The ethics of reciprocity guides the relationship between nurses and patients such that each influences the other toward a good life and thereby helps to create an ethical narrative. A protective ethic calls for protecting the patient’s identity and responding to predicaments in which the dignity of the person is threatened. In particular, nurses are sometimes asked to provide existential advocacy for their patients. Moreover, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, where patient safety is a top priority, nurses must understand the existential threats facing patients and provide holistic care as existential advocates for patients and their families. However, it may be too much to require constant dedication and sacrifice from nurses. This article argues that it is important to establish an institutional support system for staffing, professional education, and self-care so that nurses can practice holistic care as professionals, rather than as “angels” or “heroes”. The ethics of care can contribute to self-growth and professional development toward a good life for both patients and nurses.
  • 4.

    Why the Korean Law that Prohibits Fetal Sex Prediction Must be Abolished

    JUNG Chang-Whan | CHOI KYUJIN | 2021, 24(3) | pp.317~334 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    South Korea’s Medical Service Act of 1987 prohibits medical personnel from conducting diagnostic tests on pregnant woman for the purpose of predicting the sex of the fetus. This provision of the Medical Service Act was originally adopted to prevent sex-specific births and a gender imbalance in Korea, given the preference for sons that was common in Korean society at that time. Since it was first enacted, the contents and related penalties for this law have been revised. As of 2016, medical personnel who attempt fetal sex prediction before 32 weeks gestation are subject to having their license suspended for one year and being imprisoned for up to two years. Within the past decade, gains in women’s socioeconomic status in Korea have decreased or eliminated the long-standing cultural preference for sons. As a result, artificial interventions for the purpose of sex-specific births have almost disappeared. In a survey conducted in 2018, 97.7% of cases artificial abortion were performed in cases under 16 weeks gestation, when the sex of the fetus was unknown. In the case of genetic diseases, such as X chromosome-related diseases, it is medically necessary to determine the sex of the fetus. In the current context, in which the crime of abortion has been abolished in Korea, the remaining prohibition on fetal sex prediction is irrational. This article argues for abolishing Korea’s prohibition on fetal sex prediction both because there are legitimate medical needs for determining the sex of a fetus and because the original purpose of the law no longer exists, given the significant social changes that have taken place in Korean society since 1987.
  • 5.

    The Reading Attitudes and Ethical Sensitivity of Nursing Students

    KIM Yu-Mi | Kim, Eun Young | 2021, 24(3) | pp.335~347 | number of Cited : 0
    Abstract PDF
    This study examined the impact of reading attitudes on the ethical sensitivity of nursing students. This study used a cross-sectional design and the participants were 214 nursing students who attended in three universities located in one city in South Korea. Data were collected from May to June 2019. A self-report questionnaire probing ethical sensitivity and reading attitudes was used. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t-test, ANOVA, Pearson’s correlation coefficients, and multiple regression analysis with the IBM SPSS 26.0 for Window program. The mean score for participant-reported reading attitudes was 3.46±0.49 on a five-point scale. In the subcategories of reading attitudes, the mean score for necessity of reading (4.11±0.49) was the highest, and the mean score for reading habits (2.81±0.72) was lowest. The mean score for ethical sensitivity was 3.56±0.35 on a five-point scale. Multiple regression revealed that ethical sensitivity has a significant correlation with reading habits (r=.247, p<.001), necessity of reading (r=.435, p<.001), persistence of reading (r=.417, p<.001), and pleasure of reading (r=.333, p<.001). The factors affecting nursing students’ ethical sensitivity were the necessity of reading (β=.247, p=.002) and persistence of reading (β=.263, p=.005). These findings indicate that nurturing positive reading attitudes in nursing students will help to increase their ethical sensitivity. These results can also be used to help nurse educators develop appropriate curricula for enhancing the ethical sensitivity of nursing students.