Ethical Issues in Nursing Practice

Ethical considerations are vital in nursing; they involve effective communication and complete understanding. Nursing is closely connected to ethical decision-making, for example, when the patient refuses care. Indeed, patients’ views and beliefs might become a struggle for medical interventions and lead to misunderstandings or offenses (Manias et al., 2015). Contentious situations in nursing occur often; therefore, it is essential to understand how to deal with controversial ethical issues.

For a specific reason, the patient might refuse care; it becomes a burden for the medical worker. Sometimes, patients’ religious beliefs confuse the nurse, although the person needs urgent aid (Arruda et al., 2020). In this case, providing verbal instructions to the patient is recommended to realize the hazards of care denial (McBride et al., 2018). Moreover, the role of informed consent is vital; the patient should sign the agreement to accept the risks and consequences of care rejection (Marco et al., 2017). Additively, when the patient presents the advanced directive, it should be signed to become legal. In the given case, the person is in a life-threatening respiratory distress condition, so they cannot sign it consciously. One of the ways to deal with it is to contact the patient’s relatives to understand further actions and whether the nurse should provide the treatment. Furthermore, it is necessary to explain to the patient that care refusal might deteriorate their health condition. The advanced directive is not active until it is signed; thus, if the patient’s health worsens, the doctor can forcibly give the treatment to avoid adverse outcomes.

Managing patient care with consideration of ethical issues might be complex. Medical service is often connected to tough choices, which become a burden for doctors and nurses. Indeed, medical workers are obliged to follow ethics in decision-making and healthcare problem-solving. Building effective communication and striving for mutual understanding are critical factors to success. Moreover, the role of informed consent and advanced directives is significant and cannot withdraw patients’ decision to refuse or accept clinical care.

Reference List

Arruda, L. M. D. et al. (2019) ‘Variables that influence the medical decision regarding advance directives and their impact on end-of-life care’, Einstein (São Paulo), 18, pp. 1-5.

Manias, E. et al. (2015) ‘Communication failures during clinical handovers lead to a poor patient outcome: Lessons from a case report’, SAGE Open Medical Case Reports, 3.

Marco, C. A. et al. (2017) ‘Refusal of emergency medical treatment: Case studies and ethical foundations’, Annals of Emergency Medicine, 70(5), pp. 696–703.

McBride, S. et al. (2018) ‘Identifying and addressing ethical issues with use of electronic health records’, OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(1).

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