Define the bioethical principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, respect for autonomy, veracity, and justice, and point out which of these principles, if any, were violated.
Ethical dilemmas in nursing
Write an ethical paper on this story below :a one page paper describing, 1) the main issue of the case, 2) the moral dilemma, 3) actions that were taken, and whether you disagree or not, what is the possible ethical purpose of those involved in making the decisions made 4) your reaction to the case, 5) and how you would have (should you have the power) done it differently. You must define the bioethical principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, respect for autonomy, veracity, and justice, and point out which of these principles, if any, were violated.
1) A 66-year-old man had suffered bilateral cerebral
haemorrhages over the course of three months. After
the first stroke he was hospitalised and became very
depressed and expressed suicidal wishes. He was not
therefore motivated to recover and regained little
movement or power of speech. As he had no relatives
and ‘nothing to live for’, staff felt troubled and
powerless to help. His second haemorrhage left him
totally paralysed, and semi-conscious, all basic care
being required. This continued for two months, no
positive signs of recovery being manifest. Medical staff
therefore agreed with senior nurses on the ward to
discontinue nourishing tube feeds and commence a
three-hourly regime of restricted water. Two weeks
later the patient contracted a chest infection and was
only producing extremely small quantities of offensive
urine. In this gravely dehydrated state despite all care
he became generally malodorous and halitotic and few
people entered his room.
One senior student had been assigned to the care of
this patient in the day-time and was given the
responsibility of planning nursing care and ensuring
this was continued when she was not on duty. Her
mounting distress that the patient was not being made
comfortable in his last few days was only
communicated to other nurses. Unfortunately she felt
unable to talk to the physicians as the ward was
extremely busy and they did not include visits to the
patient during their rounds. After ten days the patient
died and the nurse felt she had failed to maintain his
dignity or speak up on his behalf.
This situation is not atypical. Nurses are all too
reluctant to assert their concern or beliefs and medical
priorities must primarily reflect active, curative
treatment. The simple remedy of giving more fluids
and of discussing this with the ward staff may have
helped the patient and the nurse suffer less
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