End-of-LifeDilemmas and Health Care Ethics Committees
If I had my way, we could spend a whole semester on this topic alone! I have been a nurse for many years. There is nuance to the issues and even the way we phrase things can make a difference:
-starvation vs fasting
Our country’s history of dealing with these issues have played out over the news. It has been politicized with terms like “death panels”.
We look this week a spectrum of end-of-life dilemmas as well as landmark legislation that affected how our society treats our most vulnerable citizens.
As health care workers, we are a source of information to our families, communities, and to our society. We are responsible to be aware of the discussion and how it evolves over time. Even if your health care career does not put you in a position of working with end-of-life issues, our role as workers in health care requires us to be up to date.
Ethics Committees help patients, families, caregivers, and managers sort out the issues when there are conflicts. Sometimes there is no good choice, rather several that make the decision very difficult. Guidance for patients, families, and caregivers is available and I include two links to ethics committee websites. You might want to explore what is offered at your institution.
Let us first look at the pragmatic; the practical. Below are links to forms/policies on end of life paperwork.
AND, do you have advanced directives? As a hospice nurse, I found most people do not. These are very important decisions to consider. In the days before marriage equality same-sex partners did not have the right to visit at hospitals and nursing homes. Even today with same-sex parents, if one is not on the birth certificate, that parent may not be allowed to make medical decisions, a real problem when the child and the other parent are in an accident.
Who would make decisions for you if you are incapacitated?
Right now, by Illinois law, it goes generally in this order: spouse, parent, adult child, adult sibling. To ensure the person you would want to be your decision maker is able to do so, you need to prepare a Health Care Power of Attorney.
Chapter Three of Pozgar highlights the passage of the Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990.
-physician assisted suicide
-Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act
-advanced directives/appointed decision makers
-futility of treatment/withdrawal of treatment
Be aware that each of these areas has multiple dimensions (ex. Withdrawal of treatment patient in a persistent vegetative state, not in a persistent vegetative state, removal of life support equipment, feeding tubes), and your response should reflect this. You are encouraged to seek out additional source material (journal articles, online sources).
This module we also look at hospital ethics committees.
You have read Pozgar and looked at Loyolas and UNCs ethics consult websites.
Below are three issues that have come before ethics committees.
Scan them then select ONE to read in depth.
The first looks at treating short children and teens with growth hormones.
The second reports of a man with ALS wishing to donate his organs.
The third looks at hormone treatment and surgery to keep disabled children from growing.
This week you will look at the issues of the ethics consult issue of one of the three articles.
Use Pozgar to support your statements. Feel free to be creative in your initial posting.
1-Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. (2017, January 25). When should doctors treat short children and teens with growth hormone? Endocrinologists issue new clinical guidelines for managing, treating children with growth failure. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 4, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170125092600.htm
2-A dying mans wish to save others hits hospital ethics hurdle
3-Stopping growth in severely disabled children
Please note that all kinds of custom written papers ordered from nursing assignments help should be used as reference material only. Therefore, when citing a paper you get from us in your own work, it should be properly referenced.
+1 (940) 905-5542