DISCUSSION 7

Reflect upon a situation where you have been involved with end of life decisions. Have all stakeholders (healthcare providers, family members and the patient) agreed with the plan of care?  Consider your ethical responsibility as a nurse as your respond to the questions.  If you have not experienced an end of life decision ethical situation as a nurse, read the Terry Schiavo case here (Links to an external site.) and respond to the questions using this scenario.

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  1. How often do healthcare providers encounter ethical dilemmas in end of life care?
  2. What is the source of the ethical dilemma?
  3. What is the nurse’s role in this situation?
  4. What legal and ethical standards must health care personnel be expected to consider in end of life care?  (cite a source for ethical considerations- could be a professional nursing organization and/or other source specific to your work setting)
  5. If you did not agree with the decision being made, can you excuse yourself from caring for the patient?
  6. Ultimately, who should make a decision about end of life care? Explain your rationale.
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