procedures on dead people - page 2

How many hospitals allow practising procedures on dead people by students? Do you prolong codes in order to allow the students lots of time to be successful? Do you charge for those procedures that... Read More

  1. by   mattsmom81
    I also learned to intubate on newly dead corpses. Students were respectful, and did not traumatize the body whatsoever. The attending was there and supervising while we practiced.

    What better way to learn to intubate correctly?? I do think central lines, pacers, and any disfiguring practice should require permission from the family if they have not donated their body to science.

    I never felt the intubation practice to be unethical, personally.
  2. by   nursejws
    I am completely appalled at the thought of any type of practice on newly dead corpses. Probably the very same reason our family did not want to leave the side of my Dad or Grandmother after their passing. Of course, if my Dad or Grandma had given any written consent prior to their death, my family would respect their wishes. I know my Dads wishes were to try once, and once only, and those wishes were given to his oncologist, months, prior to his death. I am almost positive my Mother would not allow this to her Mother at the time of her death.

    If ever in this type of situation, would it be wrong to ask if permission was given from the family?? I'm starting my pre-req's now, so obviously I have no experience in this matter. I just know how I would feel and would want to respect the patients wishes as well as their families.
  3. by   Agnus
    Without consent of the patient/family, this violates the ethical principalS of autonomy, and verasity. If suffering is prolonged for family or patient then nonmalificense is violated. There are probably more principals violated that I can't recall at this time.

    If the family, insurance, medicare or other is charged for this then it is fraud/theft. And you are mandated to report this if you are aware of it.
    Federal - The Prvacy ACt of 1974 is violated when family/patient are unaware that information is bieng shared.
    The ANA (1985) guidelines out line these rights.
    reguarding reasearch and patient treatment
    Right to self-determination, right to privacy and dignity, right to anonymity and confidentiality, right to fair treatment, right to protection from discomfort or harm.

    This amounts to descrication. We are not allowed to use aborted featus for reasearch, experimentation or learning tools by federal law.

    We are not allowed to recover bodies from tombs for students to learn on. This amounts to desacration of bodies.
    It violates the religious rights of the individual and family. It is very disrespectful.
    This sort of thing gives us all a bad name. The fact that "no marks" are left does not excuse this.

    I and many others have willed ourselves to science. However, if I were to learn that this practice occurred at the institution where I have made this bequith then I would without hesitation withdraw it.
    It has certainly given me second thoughts and I am a nurse.
    This needs to stop. Where is this institution's ethics board????? If this is not properly addressed and stopped, then it needs to be brought to public light. The public has a leagal right to be informed that this is happening and the institutions and persons who do this.

    The end does not justify the means. Managers do things right. LEADERS DO THE RIGHT THING.
    Last edit by Agnus on May 25, '02
  4. by   disher
    This type of "practicing" treats others as mere objects, as if human beings are tools and not worthy of respect and dignity. It may be an accepted practice in many hospitals, but it should be discussed with staff. Maybe the hospital's bioethicists can present the topic in grand rounds? I bet many staff are uncomfortable with the ethical dimensions of this practice and would appreciate the opportunity to discuss ways the can either make this more acceptable or stop this practice.
  5. by   caroladybelle
    As I am jewish, the practice of performing unnecessary procedures on someone (live or dead) who have not given permit is sacreligious and a voilation of religious law.

    Ethically, it falls in the same place as a student doing a pelvic exam on an anesthetized woman, who declined that exam when awake. Morally it is inappropriate, but it still happens way to frequently.
  6. by   Agnus
    Driving home from work tonight I thought about this. Our hospital and every hospital in our geo. area invite families into the room when there is a code.
    I have read in several journals that this practice usually results in greater satisfation on the part of the family as they saw with thier own eyes that everything possible was done.
    If those of like mind to you were to advocate at your hospital to start this practice the problems you brought would no longer exist. (I don't expect it would be an easy fight, maybe one you would not even want to take on)

    From what I can tell this is starting to become common practice around the country and I imagine that it will become the standard of care.
    Last edit by Agnus on May 26, '02
  7. by   mario_ragucci
    Since you are not totally gone till all your cells die, doing this to a newly dead person is morally unethical. If others wanted to practice intubation, I would advise them of their inferior intelligence to have to practice their work/vocation on dead. Thats taunting - and thats Mario :-(
    Seeing an autopsy, and potentially feeling an organ in your hands is different, because the folks are then totally dead. I would be learnin,practicing a skill by doing this, and someone can rightfully say that I lack the imagination to picture and experience the inside of a human w/o having to see it dead. Mario will not call the kettle black.
    Getting familiar with intubation is serious, and can only improve the way for yourself and other patients as well.
    If I person is totally homeless, would that make it easier for you? What does that say about you as a person? It says you are a slice and dice person.
    The best would be if a hospital employee willed it to be done. Guilt free intubation practice.
    I'm still not comfortable talking or thinking about death since my parents died :-(

    Please do not re-paste my words again, and please don't snipe at me on another thread just because of what I say here :-(
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    [Unbelievable. What hospitals are doing this? Don't want MY loved ones passing on in such a horrid place. I find it disgusting. Dead or not, the indignity is disgraceful and makes me heartsick! What are we coming to that anyone thinks this is "ok standard practice"? UGH!
  9. by   micro
    i say again, as i have said on other threads.........
    death is as much a part of living as the rest of life.........
    morally and ethically.............life should be reverenced for the person, the body and those closely associated to...............

    that is why I would have no problem and would probably relish an opportunity to attend an autopsy, scheduled and correct,for the learning opportunity of it, but in no way would welcome anything other than standard ethical practice towards the just deceased'.............

    death is a very private thing...........and so much more than physical...........

    love to all

    micro and out
  10. by   semstr
    This would be illegal here. Even in the University-clinics, where patients are often "rabbits" in clinical research, they have to sign though, corpses are left alone.
    Autopsies are done without asking the families though, something I find hard to swallow, but that is absolutely legal.
    We go and watch an autopsy with our students once in the training, but we make sure, that this is neither a child, nor a dismembered, watercorpse or something like that. Our students don't have to go, but most of them do. In 10 years of teaching only one of them had to go, because she almost fainted.
    Personally, I am not so sure, whether this is necessary to learn about the human body.

    but, intubating on "fresh" bodies is a no, no, no!!

    Take care, Renee
  11. by   Jenny P
    Quote by Micro:
    i say again, as i have said on other threads.........
    death is as much a part of living as the rest of life.........
    morally and ethically.............life should be reverenced for the person, the body and those closely associated to...............


    Micro, my sentiments exactly! (You've been making WAY too much sense since hitting 1000, girl! JK, Love Ya!)

    Seriously, life should be treated reverently, and both the warm body and the person practicing would lose some of their inate humanity in these situations.
  12. by   EMTPTORN
    speaking specifically about intubation practice on a manikin....one can learn to intubate a manikan with 100 percent accuracy in an afternoon....i could teach my nine year old to do this. what the manikan cannot teach you is what the oropharynyx really feels like when you slip the blade in... the manikan's trachea isn't full of vomitus, blood, their are no teeth to break...granted, a corpse will not offer the fluid obstacles, but it does give you a realistic ex-perience in the real life of intubating...

    to those who have posted saying that manikan practice will make you proficient, i would not want to be your first guinea pig in real life.

    it is a bad joke>> to think an intubation manikin, IV manikin, "gel pad" for injections, any of this fake #%$@#%$ will teach you about real life. also to those who say the knowledge base is what you need to do these skills...yes that is true, but you need practice, too.

    i would be more appalled say if i went to surgery, the emergency room, or elsewhere and a student (doctor) was my primary caregiver. I would feel much more violated as i am still alive and kicking, and not gone to a better place without pain. however, that student has every right to assist in the care, and utilize every option to learn.

    maybe it sounds too cruel, but the dead are dead, a corpse is a corpse...nothing more than an emtpy shell, the human soul, spirit and heart are free from this ravished body.

    logically it seems to me that one should be able to improve their lifesaving skills, to better serve the public.

    to the bleeding hearts who think the practice of learning procedures is not to be on corpses( iam not talking about prolonging codes for practice, nor charging pt's for supplies)...think about history, think about how EVERYBODY learned before the advent of plastic... and next time YOU GO for a procedure, make sure that a "no corpse safe" provider is providing your care!
  13. by   Agnus
    Originally posted by EMTPTORN
    ...
    >> to think an intubation manikin, IV manikin, "gel pad" for injections, any of this fake #%$@#%$ will teach you about real life. also to those who say the knowledge base is what you need to do these skills...yes that is true, but you need practice, too.


    maybe it sounds too cruel, but the dead are dead, a corpse is a corpse...nothing more than an emtpy shell, the human soul, spirit and heart are free from this ravished body.

    logically it seems to me that one should be able to improve their lifesaving skills, to better serve the public.

    to the bleeding hearts who think the practice of learning procedures is not to be on corpses( iam not talking about prolonging codes for practice, nor charging pt's for supplies)...think about history, think about how EVERYBODY learned before the advent of plastic... and next time YOU GO for a procedure, make sure that a "no corpse safe" provider is providing your care!


    I have not read anyone who said, that practice should not take place on copses.

    I have read that basic respect and dignity are being ingored. That the rights of the individual and the family are being ingored.

    I understand the point that there are many living who will benifit from students practicing on corpses. This subscribes to the philosophy of the greater good.

    However, just because the persons is dead and "thier spirit has left" does not mean that the medical community now owns the body and can do as they will. The family still has a legal claim to that body. INFORMED CONSENT is the only appropriate way to go here.

    To ignore this is shameful. The fear that you won't get consent is no excuse to not ask. Would you just take something else from another persons because you are afraid they might say no if you asked? I hope not. We don't do procedures on live people without asking even if they might say no. The families of these dead people have the same rights.

    I think the jury is out on the issue of spirit and what happens to a "spirit" after a body's heart PERMANENTLY stops. No one have prooven to have come back, and tell us. Have a little respect. At the very least have respect for the grieving family.

    Because things were done in the past does not make them right. Nazi Medical experiments and the Tuskegee studies did indeed benifit others, but perhaps you have not heard of the Nurenber Code and the Belmont Report.
    Both nurses and physicians have a code of conduct.
    Last edit by Agnus on May 28, '02

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