Ethical Case Analysis: Comfort Care

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Ethical Case Analysis-Comfort Care Introduction
Ethics is defined as “the branch of philosophy that concerns the distinction of right from wrong on the basis of a body of knowledge, not just on the basis of opinions” (Kelly, 2012). Ethics are standards of right and wrong. Ethics are associated with one 's moral duty. There are two aspects to ethics. One is being able to determine what is right and wrong and the second is that our actions show we are doing the right thing. Ethical issues are very complicated and are something we are faced with often as health care providers. "As participants in a dynamic profession, we are faced with ethical choices that affect the profession
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Mrs. Smith was an elderly lady, which we newly placed on comfort care with an order from the health care provider. The family was very emotional and asked the health care provider to order a PCA pump, because they felt the nurses were too busy and would not be in there enough to medicate the patient and keep her comfortable. Keep in mind mom is only opening her eyes briefly and unable to push the button herself. The health care provider wrote for the order anyway. I spoke with the health care provider about the order not being appropriate for the patient. He insisted that I initiate the order, as the family could push the button when they felt she was uncomfortable. The family was angry that it was taking so long to get it started. I educated them about the PCA pump and how it was designed to be used. I assured them we would keep her comfortable and it was our utmost priority. The family still insisted on the PCA. I went to the Assistant Nurse Manager about my dilemma. She spoke with the health care provider and got the order changed to a CADD pump, which is managed by the IV team and will give the patient a bolus rate. She then informed the family of the new order, which they all were comfortable with. This was a true ethical …show more content…
Both daughters were health care proxies. The patient was unresponsive and unable to express her own wishes. The ethical issue involved was the fact that the treatment prescribed did not coincide with New York state law. We do not have a law that allows physician assisted suicide. A patient controlled analgesia pump was ordered, which means the patient needs to understand its use and be able to push the button on their own. The patient being unresponsive was unable to control the amount of medication being delivered. The family wanted to be able to push it when they felt she was getting restless or uncomfortable. In this situation there is a conflict between patient comfort and the type of treatment ordered. Family education was a big part of resolving this

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