Contemporary Nursing Issue of Family Witnessed Resuscitation

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Family witnessed resuscitation (FWR) is a contentious issue worldwide which has stimulated widespread debate. Even though FWR can be traced back to 1982 at Foote Hospital in Jackson Michigan, USA, were in two separate cases family requested to be present during resuscitation, one can still articulate that it is a contemporary issue. Family presence during resuscitation brings up several issues that create argument between the benefits and negative implications of this practice. To top this up ethical issues related with FWR, make this a complex and heavy weighted issue of debate. The issue of FWR may have several negative and positive impacts effecting management, clinical practice, education research and policy. Champions in favour of allowing the family to be present during resuscitation, stress on several benefits which are also cited in a number of research studies. Those in favour argue that the family can benefit from several psychological benefits, such as aiding in the grieving process, gaining a sense of closure making sure that everything possible was done and giving the opportunity of being with their loved ones while still alive. Other perceived benefits of FWR are those from a health care professionals perspective, were family presence during resuscitation will aid in reminding the staff to treat the patient as a family member in a holistic manner aiding in the achievement of family centred care. FWR may also encourage a more professional behaviour during resuscitation promoting a more careful choice of words and reducing black humour. However those against the option of FWR stress its negative effects, raising concerns that the presence of a family member during resuscitation can disrupt the resuscitation process, demanding for prolonged resuscitation in futile situations, family members may be unable to control their emotions that may cause a disruptive behaviour, increase the risks for litigation and cause limitations on the possibility in...
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