Health Care Policy, Law and Ethics
December 10, 2011
Explain how the patient Bill of Rights applies to this case. In this most delicate of all situations, Nurse Nancy’s role should involve the use of healing activities, which would seek to ensure Mrs. Jones physical and psychological comfort. The protection of the patient’s privacy, the support of the patient’s loved ones, the assistance of the patient’s state of peace, as well as her safety and security, these should all be first and foremost in the mind of Nurse Nancy. This patient’s healing process should include Nurse Nancy’s commitment to restore her sense of wellbeing. If Nurse Nancy’s acts of caring are undermined by personal feelings of fear, despair, sadness, loss of confidence or guilt, Mrs. Jones’ experience of serious illness could become riddled with the nurse’s various acts of corruption regarding nursing activities. The Fourteenth Amendment provides that neither Mrs. Jones, nor any other patient, shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Therefore, it is paramount that this nurse pays special attention to the relationship between herself and any of her patients. The patient’s Bill of Rights is concerned that the character of relationships between the healthcare provider and the patient is always marked by acts of respect, concern, and dignity. (Showalter, 2008). Identify and explain at least three ethical considerations.
Nursing theory has always been beset by the problems of moral relativism and philosophical incoherence as a consequence of having to give up the traditional, realistic view of nursing. Therefore, if there was a morally, legitimate place for nurses in the provision of euthanasia, those nurses who agree with similar concepts would do well to seek out any sources of ethical support that was available to them. Within most healthcare settings, that resource of support is not available. The profession of nursing is most notably known as a “nursing-as-healing praxis. This is the usual approach when healthcare facilities employ nurses in an effort to improve the quality of care for patients and healthcare consumers. One specific intention of a healthcare setting is to ensure that the hospital is a safe place for care giving and any healthcare tactics employed by those within. (Siu, 2010). Even though Nurse Nancy shared her feelings of sadness regarding Mrs. Jones’ declining health, she must realize that this situation is not exclusively about her own personal feelings. Mrs. Jones is a single parent who has a child that must be considered and cared for in the event of Mrs. Jones’ demise. The nurse’s premeditated decision to deliberately administer an extra dose of a narcotic that could potentially end Mrs. Jones’ life shows that the nurse does not consider that a child could be left without a parent and possibly orphaned. The child’s life would suffer myriad setbacks, twists and turns, none of which he or she would have control. Seemingly, this nurse’s passions run high whenever the issue of Mrs. Jones is discussed therefore, it is advisable to refrain from assigning this nurse to the care of Mrs. Jones in an effort to protect Mrs. Jones’ safety and wellbeing. It is quite obvious that this nurse has not completely come to terms with her own feelings of grief and any underlying factors. Her desire to administer an extra dose of a narcotic that could potentially end the life of another, would create great concern regarding whether the action was done in an effort to give palliative care (which involves the administration of narcotic analgesia for the express purpose of alleviating actual pain), or if the action was performed in an effort to resolve the patient’s lifelong suffering. Either way, the nurse must rethink her decision and act appropriately within the boundaries of her job title, which is a nurse, not God....
References: Llewellyn, J. & Downie, J. (2011). Restorative justice euthanasia, and assisted suicide: A
new arena for restorative justice and a new path for end of life law and policy in
Canada, Alberta Law Review, (48), 965-986.
Showalter, J. (2008). The law of healthcare administration, (5th ed.). Chicago: Health
Siu, W. (2010), Communities of interpretation: euthanasia and assisted suicide debate.
Critical Public Health, (20), 169-199.
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