Sample Nursing Paper on End of Life Assignment

In many cases, many ethical concerns arise concerning end of life care, especially when families and patients make decisions regarding the care they want. . At times, nurse’s morals and values may contradict with those of the patients, which leads to distress among nurses. By having a clear understanding of some of the issues witnessed during end of life decisions, nurses will be well prepared for what they might experience and how to handle some of these ethical issues.

At the end of life simulation, the nurses would have incorporated the help of a social worker who would have played an important role in supporting the family, especially Mrs. Marshall’s daughter who seems to be much affected due to the condition of her mother and the fact that her mother will die soon (Montgomery College, 2014). Social workers are well trained to deal with such situations.   Some ethical concerns were noted while viewing the simulation. Nurses are supposed to build trust to provide the family members of the patient.  At the end of life simulation, the incoming nurse would have been introduced to the family by the outgoing nurse. In this case, this scenario never occurred. If the oncoming nurse is introduced to the family members, it would create a sense of confidence among the family members of the patient. There is mistrust between the nurse and the doctor about whether prescribing morphine to the patient is an issue of concern. The nurse is against the prescription of the drug because the patient’s pressure is too low. Another ethical concern that was noted is that there was no withdrawal of life sustaining management of the patient. In this case, the patient wanted to die in peace, but the nurse was still administering pain killers. The nurse opted to know the withdrawing intervention in taking care after sick people who are near to the end of life. The doctor did not visit the patient before advising the nurse to administer morphine to the patient is another ethnic concern (Montgomery College, 2014). This is an unethical behavior since Mrs. Marshall had already developed low blood pressure. Lastly, there is no evidence of a team approach in this end of life simulation. Even if proper medical care was provided to the patient, interdisciplinary work is important as well. It is vital to have a team of various experts during the last stages to encourage the patient and members of the family to accept the uncertain.

Respect for autonomy is one principle that was practiced in the simulation. It is an agreement that one should respect the other person’s right to self-determine a course of action and support others’ right of decision making. Sometimes it is challenging for a nurse to agree with the decisions that patients make because some nurses do not trust the patients to make the right decisions. However, in this simulation, the nurse supports the decision of the patient and respects the decision of the patient’s daughter. The patient has decided to stop her cancer treatment, as she wants is to die peacefully.

Another principle evident at the end of the life simulation is nonmaleficence. This principle means that one should refrain from causing unnecessary harm to the patient. The moral justification in which harm should be caused is what is referred to as nonmaleficence. To prevent serious harm, a less kind of harm needs should be inflicted.  At the end of the life simulation, the nurse needs to put the head of the bed up to get some pressure off the patient’s lungs even though she is in pain. Adjusting the head of the bed upwards, will make the patient feel more comfortable.

Justice is the final principle evident in the simulation. Justice governs the social fairness. The principle of justice involves determining if an individual is entitled to receive a resource. Mrs. Marshall is well informed about her condition. She has requested to be allowed to die in peace and not to be reinstated.

Over the last ten years, the quality of end of life has improved significantly. Nurses are the primary link between the patient and the family. Patients who are dying from an illness, access to a nurse will improve the quality of dying (Fitch, Fliedner, & O’Connor, 2015). Moreover, the burden of suffering will also be reduced. As the world population continues to grow significantly, there will be an increase in the number of people who will require the end of life health care services.

 

References

Fitch, M., Fliedner, M., & O’Connor, M. (2015). Nursing perspectives on palliative care 2015. Retrieved from http://apm.amegroups.com/article/view/7034/7817

Montgomery College. (2014). End of Life Sim Simulation [Image]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY00RbIGrXs