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Understanding Aboriginal families' experiences of ethical issues in a paedatric intensive care environment: a relational ethics perspective Open Access


Other title
Pediatric emergencies
Pediatric intensive care
Children -- Hospitals
Parent and child
Medical ethics
Sick children -- Family relationships
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Fisher, Katherine
Supervisor and department
Ray, Lynne (Nursing)
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Malcolm King, Faculty of Medicine
Dr. Wendy Austin, Faculty of Nursing
Dr. Lynne Ray, Faculty of Nursing
Faculty of Nursing

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Nursing
Degree level
The PICU environment is fraught with ethical issues, often arising from relationships between families and nursing staff. The research that examines the experience of hospitalization within PICU does not address relational ethics from a cultural perspective. Aboriginal families may experience distinct concerns, such as language barriers, cultural stereotyping, and a lack of communication with nurses. This study explored the perceived relational experiences of Aboriginal families from remote northern communities with nurses in a PICU. A case study was developed from interview data from key Aboriginal informants. Relational ethics served as a conceptual guide, with consideration for the core theoretical elements as they arose in descriptions of Aboriginal families’ interactions with nurses. Informants described Aboriginal families as feeling isolated and disconnected from nurses. A lack of cultural understanding and respect was perceived. The fast-paced, technical environment was described as an influencing factor in the lack of engagement between families and nurses.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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File author: Katherine Fisher
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