Judy was found unconscious by her boyfriend, but the amount of downtime was unknown. It was reported that CPR had been performed by a bystander and when medics arrived the patient was in sinus tachycardia. The patient was transported to the emergency department with a history of alcohol abuse, depression, and a previous attempt of suicide. It was determined she was eleven week pregnant, and there was a fetal heart tone and fetal movement. Although there was no bleeding or mass of the head, the patient experienced decerebrate posturing and had an upward gaze. The patient was transferred to the medical intensive care unit with an endotracheal tube.
Multidisciplinary meetings were held every three months while the patient was hospitalized. Judy’s team included critical care nurses, obstetrics and gynecology specialists, neurologists, and chaplain. Palliative care was also initiated. An ethics meeting was held early in the admission with the patient’s parents and grandparents to discuss the severity of the patient’s condition and to determine the appropriate plan of care for both the patient and her unborn fetus. A plan of aggressive treatment was determined. The parents, despite stating they fully understood the prognosis ...
... middle of paper ...
... in the best interest for the patient.
In an effort to better prepare nurses for ethical dilemmas education should be provided. Nurses need continuing education on this topic and should continuously review and discuss cases involving ethical dilemmas such as the case presented in this article. I also believe that future research should be conducted to study the effects of ethical dilemmas on nurses in order to better help nurses deal with those issues effectively.
Abazzia, C., Adamo, F., Gill, B., Morrison, R., Volpe, K., & Prata, J. (2010). In the name of good intentions: nurses’ perspectives on caring for a pregnant patient in a persistent vegetative state. Critical Care Nurse, 30(1), 40-46. Retrieved January 16, 2012 from http://cgez.waynecc.edu:2176/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=d0433f30-4bbd-414a-a60b-90bbfd378cf0@sessionmgr114&vid=6&hid=121.
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