Gertrude, an 85-year-old woman, was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, long-standing adult-onset diabetes, and aortic stenosis. Her renal disease now has led to a terminal condition. Still conscious, she told her youngest daughter that she wanted no life-sustaining measures done. On the next day, she lost consciousness. Then, her other two daughters arrived at the hospital from out of town. The three daughters argued about the treatment for their mother; the youngest wanted to honor the wishes of her mother and the other two wanted full medical treatment to be initiated. The physician and nurse discussed the treatment options and the futility issue with the family. To avoid further disagreement, the youngest daughter decided to go along with the decision of the other two sisters.
Discuss what the Ethical, legal and medical ramifications are for this patient. Tests knowledge, ethics and critical thinking. (87year old, conscious then unconscious. Involves family end of life decision making).
- What is the nurse’s role with Health Care Proxy/Living wills and their importance/legally?
Explain the reason that the physician and nurse discussed futile treatment with the daughters.
3. Explain whether you believe that the mother had a right to choose her course of treatment.
4. Evaluate end-of-life options that the daughters could have chosen for their mother’s care had they chosen the “no treatment” option.
5. Assess the different types of surrogate decision making and identify if there a surrogate decision maker in this family.
6. Analyze the specific nursing support and care could you offer to this family and patient and how it would affect your care if you did not agree with their decision.
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