Situation Assessment Procedure
Step 1: Identify the ethical issues and problems.
Answer these questions:
• What are the different perspectives?
- Mrs. Dawson wants the healthcare team to do everything they possibly can to save her husband and live at home with him. The health care providers are divided; some of the members believe that he will recover and some believe additional treatment is prolonging the inevitable and perhaps causing Mr. Dawson more suffering.
• What is the main issue?
- The main issue is whether the health care providers should start antibiotics for Mr. Dawson’s pneumonia. The team is divided on starting the treatment or don’t start because the treatment would just prolong Mr. Dawson’s suffering.
• What are the hidden, unstated issues?
- For Mrs. Dawson, if her husband were to come home, they would need round the clock assistance from a nurse to take care of her husband and herself. He is no longer able to drive her around to different places; they would need someone to help them around the city. Mrs. Dawson would need emotional support, because although she wants her husband home, he may never be the same after two strokes.
• What are the complexities of the situation?
- Not treating the patient for an illness is perceived as malpractice on the health care providers unless otherwise stated by the patient their power of attorney. Although they may feel the treatment is a waste, they are expected to treat the patient based on what the family wants.
• Is anything being overlooked?
- Does the patient have a living will, power of attorney, or did he verbally say how he wanted his plan of care? It is important to consider the patients needs and also discuss all the options and specific treatment with the ...
... middle of paper ...
...treat this illness, the nurses fail at providing proper care to the patient and making sure that they did everything they could to improve the patients quality of life.
• Understand the shortcomings of the justification.
- That patient may not be able to do anything for himself after discharge. Risk for infection will still be high with all of the tubing’s they have inserted. The nurses still need to evaluate the patient and make sure no other complications arise. In order to decrease suffering during treatment, they should make sure they are checking on the patient, asking him about pain level and his level of comfort.
• Anticipate objections to the justification.
- Treating Mr. Dawson for his pneumonia may be an objection from other health care providers. Also, if the patient was allergic to certain medications, or medication interaction could harm the patient.
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