Ch 12 nursing of the adult

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Ch 12 nursing of the adult

  1. 1. Ethics in the Life Sciences Chapter 12 Nursing of the Adult 1
  2. 2. Learning Objectives • Analyze threats to the adult patient’s confidentiality. • Describe actions a nurse can take in advocating for vulnerable adult patients. • Assist others to complete a written advanced directive and The Medical Directive Form. • Recognize and discuss personal values that influence end of life choices. 2
  3. 3. Nursing of the Adult Confidentiality • Nurses have an obligation to keep patient information confidential. • Changes in a patients legal status (age, marital status, etc.) may change the way confidential information his handled. • The Age of Majority- When an adolescent reaches 18 years old, they legally have a right to full confidentiality of all information related to their healthcare. • Persons lacking decisional capacity- Developmental problems may change the right to confidentiality depending on the patients ability to assume decision making and understanding related to healthcare. 3
  4. 4. Nursing of the Adult Advocacy • Patients autonomy should be promoted through patient advocacy. At times the nurse may have to act legally or ethically to assist and advocate for the patient. • Mandatory reporting of elder abuse- Nurses should act to protect vulnerable populations. Elder abuse should be reported so that it can be dealt with in a manner that provides the highest level of protection of this vulnerable population. 4
  5. 5. Nursing of the Adult Allocation of Resources • Nurses at times must find a balance between their own moral commitments, patient needs and allocation of resources. • A patient may receive a treatment, procedure or therapy that the nurse does not understand or believe will be in the benefit of the patient due to the state of the patients illness. • Nurses must consider the goals of the community at large and the treatments provided for specific patient populations and how resources are allocated for these special patient populations. 5
  6. 6. Nursing of the Adult Advance Directives • The right to self-determination – decision making regarding a patients own medical care, treatments and desires. • Advance directives documents a patients wishes regarding healthcare treatment and decision making in the event the patient becomes incapacitated. • Two types in the U.S. • Living Will • Durable power of attorney 6
  7. 7. Nursing of the Adult End of Life Choices • As another component of the patients right to autonomy, the patient should have a right to end of life choices • These choices come in the form of • Right to life • Right to die • Other end of life choices • Withholding or withdrawing treatment/care • Euthanasia • Assisted suicide 7
  8. 8. Summary • Nurses must consider patient’s autonomy and the intentions guiding the decisions. • Nurses need to be aware of legislation and professional positions related to various end of life issues. • Nurses also need to be aware of their own values and moral position related to end of life choices so they can be prepared to deal with these topics when they arise. 8

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