The News Assignment Paper

The News Assignment Paper

The News Assignment Paper

The News Assignment Paper Sample

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The News Assignment

As a critical part of the healthcare system, nurses identify and seek interventions to address issues that impact health among individuals, groups, communities, and even ethnic minorities as well as vulnerable entities or persons. Homelessness affects one’s ability to access quality care and living. The homelessness problem in Canada, particularly in Toronto, affects thousands of individuals who require health care because of their vulnerable state. In their article, Gupta et al. (2022) explore the effects of homelessness on health care and how it is exacerbating the crisis. According to the article, many homeless people are using emergency departments as places of refuge as they seek acute medical care and access to temporary shelters as well as social support. The implication is that many emergency departments are constrained as evidenced by long queues and longer waiting times. The situation impacts the safety of patients and the ability of healthcare providers to offer quality services. The purpose of this paper is to discuss health care for the homeless in Toronto using a nursing theory.


Using an Ethical Theory on Health Care for the Homelessness

In his article, van Leeuwen (2019) contends that homelessness is a moral challenge because it affects millions of individuals in the developed world as witnessed in Toronto, Canada. While using various approaches to understand homelessness, the article by Van Leeuwen (2019) emphasizes that homelessness requires a caring approach meaning that it is founded on the effective application of an ethical basis or theory. Burkum (2019) looks at how society creates homeless individuals as non-members. Burkum advances that homeless people are considered invisible, never recognized by society, and treated as non-existent members of community life. Using virtue theory, Burkum (2019) advances that society dismembers homeless individuals leading to a lack of members in a moral community.

The virtue ethics theory focuses on enhancing morality and honesty among members of the community. It states that having good habits and deeds such as honesty, generosity, and equality makes one a moral and virtuous person. Through a virtuous ethical approach, society and its decision-makers, especially those charged with socioeconomic and political responsibilities, should ensure that equity and equality prevail. Homelessness arises from an unequal distribution of resources emanating from economic aspects like lack of employment leading to lack of income and ability to afford housing or shelter as a basic need. In his article, Watts (2021) asserts that homelessness is an ethical issue that emanates from choices and their effects or alignment with core principles like justice and fairness. The implication is that making decisions that affect core values like fairness and justice means that millions in Canada do not have shelters due to limited resources.

Virtue ethics theory is relevant as it demonstrates that homelessness as a public health issue arises from moral and social choices that different stakeholders make to tackle inequality and unfairness that exists, especially among low-income individuals and those without employment. Homeless individuals require homes and not halfway measures like public shelters where they can temporarily stay. Under the public health law, governments and states should pass and enforce laws that preserve public health and safety based on the concept of police power. Homelessness affects public health and as evidence suggests, it deepens the public health crisis facing many developed nations with significant levels of homeless populations.

Nurses Assisting with the Ethical Issue

Nurses are a core part of the health care system, including public health aspects like homelessness. In her article, Drabiak (2023) explores ethical dilemmas that arise due to involuntary treatment that targets homelessness. The article offers a broader perspective of homelessness and its effects on not just the homeless individuals and populations but also surrounding communities. Treating these individuals is a cardinal part of enhancing health and wellness, especially from a public health perspective. A significant number of homeless people suffer from mental illness and substance use disorders among other chronic conditions that require health and medical interventions (Purkey et al., 2019). Homeless people are prone to crime and this places them at increased risk of injuries that may necessitate emergency treatment. As such, nursing and nurses are important in addressing this situation as they can use evidence-based practice (EBP) interventions from an ethical perspective to address the issue.

Advanced by Van Leeuwen (2019), a caring approach is essential in addressing the situation. Nurses are patient advocates and spend more time with them than any other healthcare professional. As such, nurses can work with public health officials in Toronto to tackle the ethical issue in several ways. Firstly, they can work collaboratively with policy-makers to develop interventions that reduce the risks faced by the homeless. This implies increasing the protection of these individuals by establishing short-term and long-term solutions.

Secondly, homeless people require understanding and empathy. The implication is that nurses should change their attitude and perspective on homeless individuals. They should not view them as objects or dehumanize them. Having negative attitudes may affect the quality of care and performance levels in effective care delivery. Forchuk et al. (2022) assert that homelessness is a complex issue for many families. Therefore, nurses should show compassion and understanding, and advocate policy changes to integrate these people back to expected living and functioning to reduce the increased burden on the health system. Initiating programs to offer care to the homeless in their facilities would also help address the issue (Casey et al., 2022). Nurses should work with all stakeholders, especially their organizations and workplaces to initiate such measures to reduce the overall effects of homelessness based on virtue ethics.


Homelessness remains a critical issue for public health stakeholders and nurses in Toronto and other parts of Canada. As demonstrated, homelessness is a moral issue that emanates from inequalities that persist in the developed world. Economic models have largely demonstrated that it is an economic issue. However, homelessness is increasingly becoming a healthcare matter that requires socioeconomic and political approaches. Nurses should help implement policies that will reduce the problem and lead to better care provision.


Burkum, K. (2019). Chapter 9 Homelessness, Virtue Theory, and the Creation of Community. In

            The Ethics of Homelessness. DOI:

Casey, L. (2022 December 27). New hospital program helps Toronto’s homeless, cuts ambulance

offload time.

Drabiak, C. (2023 February 3). The ethical dilemmas behind plans for involuntary treatment to

target homelessness, mental illness, and addiction.

Forchuk, C., Russell, G., Richardson, J., Perreault, C., Hassan, H., Lucyk, B., & Gyamfi, S.

(2022). Family matters in Canada: understanding and addressing family homelessness in Ontario. BMC Public Health, 22(1), 1-11. DOI:

Gupta, S., Hayman, K. & Steer, L. (2022 October 20). How Toronto’s homelessness Crisis is

deepening the healthcare crisis.

Purkey, E., & MacKenzie, M. (2019). Experience of healthcare among the homeless and

vulnerably housed a qualitative study: opportunities for equity-oriented health care. International journal for equity in health, 18(1), 1-7. DOI: 10.1186/s12939-019-1004-4

Van Leeuwen, B. (2018). To the edge of the urban landscape: Homelessness and the politics of

            care. Political Theory, 46(4), 586-610. DOI: 10.1177/0090591716682290

Watts, G. R. (2021). Homelessness is an ethical issue in America. AMA Journal of Ethics,

            23(11), 835-839. DOI: 10.1001/amajethics.2021.835.


3 pages (not including title page or reference page)

1 reference from outside the news article (nursing ethical theory)


Find a local Health Care news article (Toronto or Ontario)

Topics to look for include;

Health care for the Homeless

Lack Health Care Resource in underserved regions

Health Care and mental health

Patients fighting for their health care rights

Health care accessibility — wait lines


Introduction 1%

Apply a ethical theory to your issue and show the theory’s relevance 5%

How can nursing assist with the ethical issue in the situation 3%

Conclusion 1%

Total 10%

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