Social justice and the Canadian Nurses Association: justifying equity
This paper considers the social justice initiative of the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA). It focuses mainly on the two editions of the CNA's discussion document on social justice, and particularly on its emphasis on the principle of equity. The paper considers whether a coherent justification can be made for the CNA's espousal of equity, and the discussion focuses in turn on the principle of equity itself and on the CNA's position in relation to equity. A body of arguments supporting an active moral role for professions, generally known as civic professionalism, provides a framework for exploring the CNA's role in this respect. Justifications for equity are explored in relation to the liberal‐contextualist spectrum, and civic professional arguments are subjected to the same structure of analysis. This is in turn related to evidence from the literature concerning nursing perceptions of equity. The paper concludes that contextualist justifications of equity and civic professionalism support one another more robustly than liberal justifications in relation to the CNA's initiative; and that they also sit more comfortably with the realities of the CNA's role in relation to nursing, and to the Canadian health care system.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Publication date: 2012-01-01