Nursing homes are a hard decision to make for a loving family to decide on for their loved ones. Questions arise of the type of care their loved ones need. Is it necessary for the loved one to go into a nursing home? Is the loved one at an age where a do not necessitate rule should be applied? What types of medical conditions does the loved one already have? Will the home supply all that is needed to their loved one? What are the rules and limits that should be placed on a loved one that needs constant attention? Should there be ethics involved in the decision making of the loved ones lives? These are questions that come up daily in a home health care or nursing home situation.
A study was conducted for 500 patients for the decision making to be done by ethics consultations. When all the issues were resolved at the end of the study, 80 percent of the patient surrogates and 90 percent of the nurses and physicians were in favor on the reduction or elimination of non beneficial treatments. Even though there were roughly 30 percent of nurses, physicians and patient surrogates who disagreed on the outcome, many said they would consider another ethics consultation again in the future for similar instances.
The biggest disagreement in the ethics consulting that all came across was the perception of medicine and the limitations the medicine has for helping human life. All families want to hold high hopes of a miracle cure and not the reality of the end of a good life. Surprisingly though the nurse’s physicians and patient surrogates all states that they were grateful in the consultations and would either recommend the consultations to someone they knew or would participate again in the same situations.
Lawrence J Schneiderman, Todd Gilmer, Holly D Teetzel, Daniel O Dugan, Paula Goodman-crews, Felicia Cohn. (2006). Dissatisfaction with Ethics Consultations: The Anna Karenina Principle. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, 15(1), 101....
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