ethics and dying patients

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    The choice is the family's in this situation if they have durable power of attorney or the patient has a living will. Think about your patient's life if they lived. Do you think their quality of life would have been very good in a nursing home or at home, if they had very minimal function? A feeding tube is a way of life support, it depends on if the family knew that pt.'s wishes.
  2. 5 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    We are a group of nursing students who want people's opinions about ethical issues and the dying patient. In a specific situation, one of us had an experience with a patient who had a stroke and was left with minimal functions. It was decided by her son and doctor that they would not provide her with nutrition, but only water and pain medication. We would like opinions on the nursing ethics of this situation.
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    If the patient's desire was to be kept alive no matter what the circumstance, then it is the up to the family to carry out their wish. In this case, the woman patient was extremely frustrated,unhappy, and in pain, with her son being the power of attorney, he made the decision to focus on the quality of life over the quantity of life for his mother. For this family, starvation was the best way to allow her to die. Although her son had power of attorney, is starvation an ethical way to 'help someone die?'
  5. 0
    Dpending on the patients' wishes shared with the son is whether it is ethical or not. A patient/family has a right to refuse IV, medications, or any life sustaining measure. Comfort measures such as water and pain relief are ethical not to let someone suffer. I have seen studies that were believed to have documented that starvation was a very cofortable way to die. Think about it, how many times have you passed the point of being very hungry and it was so late to eat that why bother? I'm not choosing a side here, just relaying a perspective of someone who does. Of course there are always two sides and both are to be respected and accepted without applying judegement or guilt. Death with dignity is very important to some people. Empathetic support for a family's decision is imperative. Remember, a living will is not effective unless the physician deems that the patient is terminal. Should the physician not deem the patient terminal, the physician does not have to recognize the living will/power of attorney. This little idiosyncrisy is often overlooked and can become a huge thing if lay people do not understand that. Also, it should be restated in the record that the patient/family continue with the same wishes on every admission. A patient status can change, perspectives change, or just flat change their mind. I would surely want to know that a liveing will signed 10 years ago, is still the patients wish today. Ethics is very personal and their are no rules. They are integrated with our culture, environment, religion, sex, etc., etc.
  6. 0
    Dpending on the patients' wishes shared with the son is whether it is ethical or not. A patient/family has a right to refuse IV, medications, or any life sustaining measure. Comfort measures such as water and pain relief are ethical not to let someone suffer. I have seen studies that were believed to have documented that starvation was a very cofortable way to die. Think about it, how many times have you passed the point of being very hungry and it was so late to eat that why bother? I'm not choosing a side here, just relaying a perspective of someone who does. Of course there are always two sides and both are to be respected and accepted without applying judegement or guilt. Death with dignity is very important to some people. Empathetic support for a family's decision is imperative. Remember, a living will is not effective unless the physician deems that the patient is terminal. Should the physician not deem the patient terminal, the physician does not have to recognize the living will/power of attorney. This little idiosyncrisy is often overlooked and can become a huge thing if lay people do not understand that. Also, it should be restated in the record that the patient/family continue with the same wishes on every admission. A patient status can change, perspectives change, or just flat change their mind. I would surely want to know that a living will signed 10 years ago, is still the patients wish today. Ethics is very personal and their are no rules. They are integrated with our culture, environment, religion, sex, etc., etc.
  7. 0
    Dpending on the patients' wishes shared with the son is whether it is ethical or not. A patient/family has a right to refuse IV, medications, or any life sustaining measure. Comfort measures such as water and pain relief are ethical not to let someone suffer. I have seen studies that were believed to have documented that starvation was a very cofortable way to die. Think about it, how many times have you passed the point of being very hungry and it was so late to eat that why bother? I'm not choosing a side here, just relaying a perspective of someone who does. Of course there are always two sides and both are to be respected and accepted without applying judegement or guilt. Death with dignity is very important to some people. Empathetic support for a family's decision is imperative. Remember, a living will is not effective unless the physician deems that the patient is terminal. Should the physician not deem the patient terminal, the physician does not have to recognize the living will/power of attorney. This little idiosyncrisy is often overlooked and can become a huge thing if lay people do not understand that. Also, it should be restated in the record that the patient/family continue with the same wishes on every admission. A patient status can change, perspectives change, or just flat change their mind. I would surely want to know that a living will signed 10 years ago, is still the patients wish today. Ethics is very personal and their are no rules. They are integrated with our culture, environment, religion, sex, etc., etc.


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