Describe why there is such a struggle when addressing end-of-life issues
For this week assignment, write a 1500-word essay addressing each of the following points/questions.
- Describe why there is such a struggle when addressing end-of-life issues
- What are the differences between allowing a patient to die and physician-assisted suicide?
- Discuss the controversy that can occur when considering a patient’s right to know whether a caregiver has AIDS and the caregiver’s right to privacy and confidentiality.
- Describe the distinctions among wrongful birth, wrongful life, and wrongful conception. Discuss the moral dilemmas of these concepts
- Discuss the arguments for and against partial birth abortions
- Discuss why there is controversy over genetic markers and stem cell research
Please combine all of these responses into a single Microsoft Word document for submission. Submit only completed assignments (not partial or “draft” assignments). Be thorough in your responses to adequately address all aspects of each question.
Submit only the assignments corresponding to the module in this section.
Expert Answer and Explanation
Professional Development Exercises
Nurses should understand certain controversies in nursing profession and healthcare industry in general so that they can develop professionally. Nurses should understand the issues they can face while providing end of life care. Also, understanding the issues related to assisted suicide and letting patient die can also build a nurse professionally (Croxon et al., 2018). In other words, professional development in nursing can be achieved when nurses understand all the controversies in healthcare industry. On that note, this paper has discussed various controversies in the healthcare industry.
Struggle When Addressing End-Of-Life Issues
Nurses struggle when it comes to issues regarding end of life decisions (Fitchett et al., 2019). The first struggle is when patients direct nurses and other professionals not to treat them when they are about to die. Nurses can get confused when they are stopped from conducting their duties (Ceylan & Çetinkaya, 2020).
Nurses have been using resuscitation status as strategy used to dictate whether measures such as tracheal or cardiopulmonary actions should be initiated when a patient has suffered stroke or cardiac arrest (Croxon et al., 2018). In other words, resuscitation status determines whether a patient can be revived after a cardiopulmonary arrest. Patients may qualify to treated through resuscitation status, but they may be stopped by the patients or their family members from implementing the treatment
Another struggle revolves around palliative care. Palliative care aims at reducing pain and providing best care to a dying patient (Goligher et al., 2017). However, this practice can become an issue when the patients and their families are not supporting the nurses to effectively perform palliative care. A caregiver may have the urge to provide proper care to his or her patients but the patients’ family members may fail to cooperate with him or her (Fitchett et al., 2019).
Another issue that can make nurses struggle to handle end-of-life care is inadequate funds. The patient’s family may lack capital to pay for essential end of life care services (Goligher et al., 2017).
Difference Between Physician Assisted Suicide and Allowing Patient Death
Physician assisted suicide is a practice where the medical professional provides the patient with means of dying (Goligher et al., 2017). However, allowing the patient to die is a practice of letting the patient get killed by the condition he or she has. For instance, when the patient has been brought to the hospital with cardiac arrest, instead of reviving the patient, the physician will not perform any medical therapy to assist the patient. McGee and Miller (2017) mention that both practices are aimed at reducing the pain the patient suffers. However, they are done differently.
The difference is that drugs or lethal injections are involved in physician assisted death while when allowing the patient die, there is not medical therapy involved (McGee & Miller, 2017). In allowing the patient die, the disease is the element that will cause the individual’s death. However, in physician assisted suicide the doctor is supposed to help the patient die.
A patient can be allowed to die of natural causes at home without any medical intervention. The patient might discuss with his family members to allow him or her die of natural causes at home close to his or her loved ones (Goligher et al., 2017). However, physician assisted suicide is done in healthcare setting by licensed physicians.
Caregiver’s Confidentiality and Privacy
The knowledge whether nurses should reveal their health status to their patients has led to a lot of controversies in the past. Miller et al. (2017) narrate that the HIV issue forced national health service (NHS) and the department of health (DOH) imposed restrictions on responsibilities nurses with HIV could or could not perform.
A controversy that nurses with HIV and AIDs virus could infect the patients has been disapproved by many scholars. Ceylan and Çetinkaya (2020) mention that HIV cannot be transmitted when nurses are providing care services. The authors also argue that nurses have no obligation to share their medical history with patients. Like patients, they also have the right to keep their medical information confidential.
However, nurse managers should ensure that nurses with HIV perform responsibilities that cannot put the safety of patients in jeopardy (Ceylan & Çetinkaya, 2020). For instance, nurses suffering from HIV should not be given responsibility to help physicians during surgical procedures. In other words, nurses with HIV should not handle roles that can make their blood come in contact with those of patients (Miller et al., 2017).
For instance, Miller et al. (2017) mention that HIV positive nurses cannot be midwives. The nurse managers can know the status of their nurses by taking them through regular medical checkups. The information can help them allocate the nurses roles according to their health status. In summary, all people including nurses and patients have the right to privacy and confidentiality. It is the responsibility of the nurses in the managerial position to ensure that nurses’ confidentiality and privacy is not abuse and at the same time, the patients’ safety is achieved Ceylan & Çetinkaya, 2020).
The Distinctions Among Wrongful Birth, Wrongful Life, and Wrongful Conception
Wrongful birth is failing to inform the parents about the pregnancy complications before birth (Guido, 2014). It is believed that if the physician did his or her work properly and identify the risks before the fetus is born, then complications, such as ectopic pregnancy and low amniotic fluid could be avoided (Miller et al., 2017). Thus, the parents of the child often sue the medical profession or the hospital for damages related to medical negligence and malpractice.
However, a wrongful life is when the hospital or a medical professional is sued for failing to stop the birth of a fetus with defect (Guido, 2014). This lawsuit argues that the child could not have been born if the physician told the parents of the existing defect before birth. Wrongful conception is a lawsuit suing a medical facility or professional for failing to conduct medical practices that lead to birth of healthy but unplanned child (Miller et al., 2017). This issue may arise when abortion drugs have failed to work.
These three concepts have a lot of moral dilemmas. According to Christianity, God is the giver of life and he is the one who can decide whether a child can be born healthy or not (Goligher et al., 2017). Thus, doctors should not be blamed for medical issues related to new born children. However, non-religious people argue that a fetus with defect should not be allow to grow because it will have a lot of medical issues after birth. Thus, medical professionals are responsible for alerting the patients about the health condition of their patients’ pregnancies and let the patients decide what to do (Miller et al., 2017).
The Arguments for and Against Partial Birth Abortions
Partial birth abortion is the medial practice where the life of a fetus is terminated after it has been removed from the mother’s womb (Miller et al., 2017). Partial birth abortion is often done after the fetus has passed third trimester. The American federal law defines partial birth abortion as the practice of killing a live fetus after it has been intentionally and deliberately delivered through the vagina. There are many arguments against the practice.
According to Croxon et al. (2018), partial birth abortion is the practice of killing a living being because it has partially left the body of the mother. Christians are against partial birth abortion or any other abortion practice because it is against their faith. In the book of Deuteronomy 10: 2-5, God commands his people not kill, and thus the practice is a sin. Also, partial abortion is challenging the wishes of God.
All lives are sacred and every person has purpose in life, and therefore people should not kill each other because they are not the providers of life (Fitchett et al., 2019). Through the practice has been prohibited by the American law and religious groups, some people still support it. McGee and Miller (2017) mention that partial abortion can be used to stop a defected fetus from living an unhealthy and miserable life.
Why There Is Controversy Over Genetic Markers and Stem Cell Research
There are controversies over stem cell research and genetic makers due to the contradiction between religions and scientific views. In the book of Genesis chapter one verse 26 to 30, God gave man domination over living things under the sun (Fitchett et al., 2019). In this scripture, it means that Adam and Eve were given power over all creations including animals and plants. However, the question is, did God gave humans power to manipulate the genetics of the creatures he had created?
The Lord commanded humans to care for his creations not own it (McGee & Miller, 2017). Thus, the authors argue that people practicing genetic engineering and stem cell research have moved away from their roles and are now owning God’s creations. In the book of 1st Corinthians chapter 6 verse 19-20, “the human body is the temple of God” (Fitchett et al., 2019). This means that nobody should tamper with the temple of God.
Thus, people who are manipulating the genes of humans are tampering with the human body and will pay the prize even if the action seems effective in healthcare. People should care for their bodies but should not alter any structure of the body to fit their preferences because according to Psalms chapter 139 verse 14 “we are fearfully and wonderfully made” (McGee & Miller, 2017).
Christians argue that God’s created humans in his image, and thus scientists should not alter human genes or use the human body as they please. Scientists see the two practices are a step to improve human survival in the harsh environment. However, Christians through the book of Plasms argue that the Lord is their shepherd, and with his guidance they can withstand any harshness (McGee & Miller, 2017).
In conclusion, there has been many controversies regarding specific medical practices, such as partial birth abortion, assisted suicide, and letting patients die. Also, Christians do not support genetic engineering and stem cell research. According to Christianity, all the actions above contradict God’s commandments.
Ceylan, S. S., & Çetinkaya, B. (2020). Attitudes towards gossip and patient privacy among paediatric nurses. Nursing ethics, 27(1), 289-300. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0969733019845124
Croxon, L., Deravin, L., & Anderson, J. (2018). Dealing with end of life—new graduated nurse experiences. Journal of clinical nursing, 27(1-2), 337-344. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.13907
Fitchett, G., Pierson, A. L. H., Hoffmeyer, C., Labuschagne, D., Lee, A., Levine, S., … & Waite, N. (2019). Development of the PC-7, a quantifiable assessment of spiritual concerns of patients receiving palliative care near the end of life. Journal of palliative medicine. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/jpm.2019.0188
Goligher, E. C., Ely, E. W., Sulmasy, D. P., Bakker, J., Raphael, J., Volandes, A. E., … & White, D. B. (2017). Physician-Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia in the Intensive Care Unit: A Dialogue on Core Ethical Issues. Critical care medicine, 45(2), 149. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000001818
Guido, G. W. (2014). Legal and ethical issues in nursing (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
McGee, A., & Miller, F. G. (2017). Advice and care for patients who die by voluntarily stopping eating and drinking is not assisted suicide. BMC medicine, 15(1), 222. https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-017-0994-2
Miller, H. M., Tong, A., Tunnicliffe, D. J., Campbell, D., Pinter, J., Commons, R. J., … & Henderson, B. (2017). Identifying and integrating patient and caregiver perspectives for clinical practice guidelines on the screening and management of infectious microorganisms in hemodialysis units. Hemodialysis international, 21(2), 213-223. https://doi.org/10.1111/hdi.12457
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