In the article, Legal Aspects of End of Life Care. author, Nurse Claire M. McGowan, explains that when performing the role of a critical care nurse acting as the advocate for the patient, his/her family, and significant others, it Is essential that the nurse has an understanding of legal implications associated with end of life care. McGowan goes on to provide information on the legal principles involved In end-of-life care, specifically addressing: limitations in treatment, assessing capacity and using surrogate decision makers and medical futility.
In order to explain limitations in reatment, McGowan begins by listing what the courts have established as Ilfe sustaining treatments which include: mechanical ventilation, blood transfusions, dialysis, chemotherapy, artificial nutrition, and hydration. Although a competent or incompetent terminally ill patient with advances directives has the right has to refuse these treatments, there are rare cases when the state court may override that right: preservation of life, prevention of suicide, protection of third parties such as children, and preserving the Integrity of the medical profession (McGowan, 2011).
Next, ccording to McGowan, if a patient is deemed incompetent the patient may be assigned a surrogate to make decisions on their behalf with respect to their advance directives. If a there is no advanced directive or surrogate appointed to the patient then the medical team may determine the plan of care for the patient (McGowan, 2011 Lastly, McGowan addresses medical futility, defined, as such, when treatment is no longer deemed a benefit to the patient. According to McGowan, arriving at this determination and accepting futility Is often stressful, inciting disagreements between the patients/surrogates and medical professionals involved.
In order to resolve conflicting Interests, McGowan suggests a variety of methods that can be utilized to improve communication between the two parties including: making attempts to negotiate understanding between parties as to what constitutes futile care before conflict arises, using joint decision making, and using consultants to reach satisfactory resolution of disagreements. If these methods fail to help unite the parties’ decision an ethics committee may be utilized to reach a determination, the patient may be transferred to another medical provider within the institution or to another Institution altogether (McGowan, 2011).
In my opinion, Nurse McGowan clearly presented how important it is for a critical care nurse to have a working knowledge of the legal aspects of end of life care and how he/she can help to make sure that the patient’s rights are respectfully carried out either directly or indirectly during end of life. After reading this article, It was impressed upon me that since the nurse is the main point of contact with the patient, family, and significant others during treatment, It becomes the responsibility of the nurse to help mediate conflicts that may arise during care, in order to protect the patient’s best interests.
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more