Disaster Dilemma Essays

3133 Words Dec 24th, 2012 13 Pages
Dilemmas in Disaster. What's a Nurse Manager To Do?
Charlotte McKamie
Texas A&M
Administrative Theories
NSG 520
November , 2012


This paper considers some of the ethical dilemmas that occur during disasters and how the chaos and desperation of those situations effect decision making for nurse managers.

Dilemmas in Disaster. What's a Nurse Manager To Do?
In July of 2006, two nurses and a doctor were charged with murder as a result of their actions during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This charge was related to their administration of iv pain medicine and iv sedation to critically ill elderly patients, who subsequently died before evacuation was possible Based on evidence from witnesses, Louisiana’s
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Many of the family members were not so forgiving however, and filed civil suits. Wow! What a complex, horrible, tragic, unexpected, unavoidable, ethical dilemma! Outlawed in almost every country, euthanasia is a highly debated issue. There are no laws stating that doctors and health care professionals have to extend a life by any means possible. But there are definitely laws against forcing the end of it. I have thought about that situation so many times since then. I know what I believe, and I know what I think I would have done, but because I cannot get a clear picture in my mind of how bad that must truly have been, I can’t say with certainty that I know.
It is self-evident that such stressful conditions will create ethical dilemmas for health professionals. The American Nurses Association (ANA) acknowledges that the retrospective judgment of nurses’ actions in such circumstances is extremely complex. Because of events such as these, ANA ordered a review of altered standards of care to be used during a disaster and in 2007 a conference was held to address those issues.("The free library," December 2006, p. 3) A medical disaster is when the need for care greatly exceeds the available resources. The gap between demand and supply is far worse than a hectic day in the ER and it requires nurse managers to shift their ethical thinking because it is not possible for every patient to get the level

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