Hello. I have a question to ask because I have been reading about ethical issues and moral distress. I recently experienced an event on my unit which caused multiple staff including myself to feel frustrated and somewhat angry. I cared for one member of an elderly couple that were involved in an accident. Unfortunately, the woman's husband passed during the accident. She survived and I cared for her for 2 days immediately after the event. Her adult children were present at her bedside throughout her hospitalization for her emotional well-being. Upon arrival to my unit, one of her family members pulled me aside and told me (not asked) not to disclose her husband's death because they wanted her to get well first, then eventually tell her. Family members also told each staff that provided her care the same thing. During the 2 days I cared for her, multiple times she asked me about the condition of her husband. Whenever she asked me this, I looked at her family members and they would glare at me. So I ended-up distracting her or would tell her to focus on her healing first. Not telling her what happened to her husband ate me inside. If that were my significant other, I would want to know right away. Finally, the family told her about her husband's death on her 5th day of hospitalization.
I'm not sure but I feel as though this type of situation may be more common than I think. But my question is: Do you think this is an ethical issue that could have initiated an ethics consult??? Thanks for your input!