In health care, it is difficult to hold or implement rules and principles that are absolute. Taking into consideration many variables that exist within the context of a patient’s healthcare. These variables are combined with the theories and principles that bind health employees legally to many situations. Every person, whether they be a patient or a client have the right to personal independance when it comes to their body and their own health. Currently within Australia the abortion pill is illegal and women requesting a termination must consider the surgical alternative should they wish to abort their pregnancy. The nursing ethics of autonomy, justice, non-maleficence and beneficence are used to assist with the decision making of a patient’s health care. The author of this essay will discuss why the abortion pill should be made readily available for those encountering an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy. Identifying that whilst to abort a fetus may not be seen to be the right thing in many people’s beliefs, the decision of this form of termination rests in the hands of the adults directly involved. These adults should be allowed to have access to the best form of termination that suits their situation. The author will consider the impact each nursing principle has in guiding and informing the patient.
The abortion pill – known during its time of development as RU486 is a self-administered pill to induce a miscarriage when a fetus is less than 9 weeks gestation (Betts, 2009). It provides women with a medical alternative to the commonly practiced surgical procedure (Joffe & Weitz, 2003). The drug RU486 together with Misoprostol, leads to a complete termination in 93 to 98 percent of the time (C. De Costa, 2007). It is currently an illegal drug for practioners in Australia to prescribe, however currently it is being discussed in parliament. It has been used for over 20 years in many countries (C. De Costa, 2007). At present only one hospital in Melbourne and another fourteen across Australia are allowed to provide this means of termination (Betts, 2009). At this time the patient must satisfy the medical staff that this option is a better option for them compared with the regularly practiced surgical alternative (Parrish, 2011).
When discussing whether RU486 should be readily available for both an unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, one must first recognize the difference between the two. An unplanned pregnancy may be the result of a family with children already, unplanned does not equal unloved (Parrish, 2011). It is the direct result of sexual activity that is recognized within Australian society as an acceptable behavior between and man and a woman (C. M. De Costa, 2005). In fact the hardest part of the decision to terminate an unplanned pregnancy can be the embarrassment and shame they feel when going to the physician’s clinic to begin with (Makenzius, Tydén, Darj, & Larsson, 2012).
An unwanted pregnancy not only carries the possibility of stress on the couple involved, but can have significant health and financial costs to society (Lucke, 2011). An emphasis on the education and availability of contraception to avoid these instances needs to be considered. A pharmacist may be the only health care practitioner within many kilometres that a person considering a termination has access too. Many doctors around the country have lengthy waiting times and charge high consultation fees (Lucke, 2011). Nursing care is exhausted when a patient has only the surgical option to utilize. The costs of anesthesia, the procedure and medical staff required can be of a considerable burden to ones finances (Lucke, 2011). The safe to use and cost effective to produce RU486 not only is a less evasive options women should have access to, but the substantial financial saving that it comes with may assist in their decision (C. M. De Costa, 2005).
The principle ethic of autonomy encompasses the fundamental protection and...
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