Ethical considerations - page 2

Doing my ethics paper and looking for input concerning ethical implications of treating or refusing to treat patients convicted of child sexual abuse, child rape and murder or other similarly... Read More

  1. by   jojotoo
    Quote from dboop
    Something I realized is that those people may be convicted, but sometimes you never know if you're treating someone who has committed the same acts but was never convicted or ever suspected in life. They say those people come in all forms - they look like the friendly grocer, your neighbor...sadly, there are many times family relatives commit these things to their own nieces and nephews. I know it's not a pleasant thought, but it is the reality.

    I know it must be hard to treat someone who you know has committed offensive acts that you feel strongly against, but I guess like some others said previously in this forum, they are there as patients to receive care, and we put ourselves at legal risk and have our ethics questioned as professionals if we don't treat them. I guess I can't speak for myself because I am not a nurse yet. I am applying to nursing schools and hoping I get in January (!)...I'm new here. A classmate who gave a talk about the importance for nurses to know how to deal with stress, told the class about this site - that it has forums to talk to others, and good for nurses to get support because it's a good way to handle stress.

    Thanks for reading. This was my first post.


    Welcome! And that was a well thought out post and something for us all to think about.


    :groupwelcome:
  2. by   Tweety
    I work in a trauma unit and we get these kinds of patients often, and I detach myself and care for them so they can get well and get to jail.

    I worked with a nurse that asked not to take care of a rape victum that was severely beaten because she herself was once raped years prior and couldn't deal with it.

    I fully support a nurse who on ethical or emotional levels can't give 100% to the patient.
  3. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I think it much more ethical to refuse if you know you cannot provide good care to a given person, under extenuating circumstances.......than to give poor or lousy care in the same situation. There ARE occasions where a nurse can or should refuse to care for a given patient, but those occasions are relatively rare. You are going to run across all kinds in your career as a nurse. You have to resolve to do your best in any case. But if it's going to be a huge ethical dilemma for you, it's probably better to try and switch assignments, if you possibly can.

    Just realize as a nurse, you will meet many kinds, many of whom you find utterly distasteful. It's a challenge we all face sooner or later.
  4. by   Antikigirl
    Treat all patients to the best of your care no matter what...it is not our job to judge.

    When I was a preceptee working in a small ER, we had an emergency...a man with his throat cut. It was a mess and very hard to get him stablized and out for surgery. We did it...and half way through we were told that he was slit by the father of an infant...the guy I was treating raped her...an INFANT!!!!!!!!!! In fact...she was in the hospital a floor away!!!!!!!!!

    I didn't think about it...I just did my job...then dealt with this issue for many weeks after. Bottom line was that I was doing a job to assist in medical for a patient to the best of my ability...so therefore I must not judge, but do what my job tells me to do. I must deal with my own thoughts and feelings of the morals and ethics of this in my own time...

    He lived...was imprisoned...and that is all I know...

    I do not know about the infant...that was a 'need to know basis only" Wish someone thought of that when they told us why this guy was in there!!! UHGGGGGGGGG!
    Last edit by Antikigirl on Oct 3, '06
  5. by   globetrotter
    Hi TriageRN 34

    This was an exactly similar situation that made me ask my original question. Not knowing the circumstances surrounding the PT wounds would be helpful in the moment. Perhaps justice will be served in jail where child molesters aren't very welcomed. Thanks everyone for the thoughtful posts.
  6. by   purplemania
    does not matter what the other person does/says/looks like etc - what matters is your own bias. That is the real crux of the problem - trying to identify what you can/cannot tolerate and how to deal with that. I fall back on Orlando's dynamic nurse/patient relationship theory - you first have to determine your own role (function). Does it include behavior modification? If no, then do your job. If yes, then do your job.

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