Patient Values And Dilemmas For End Of Life Care

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Working with persons who have just recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness poses a number of challenges for nurses. The research presented for this paper outlines how important it is to include families and other significant members in the conversations surrounding end of life care. In the study there were 6 patients and their families/significant other who participated in interviews at 3 and 6 months after diagnosis. The objective of the study was to determine whether including families and significant others in the decision making process would yield improved quality of life for the patient. The motivating factor behind each interview was to establish a dialogue between the patient and their families. Many families struggle to discuss …show more content…
Every aspect of these values needs to be upheld with regards to supporting a patient with advanced directive choices. First concept in these values is client well-being; the client has the right to choose quality of time spent while still functioning over the quantity of time spent. The patient and their families may decide that prolonging life is not worth the pain and suffering that would come to the person. Nurses must ensure family and patient are aware of the options but refrain from proving personal input on the choice. The next concept, client well-being, is described in this paper as putting the quality of life they wish to have over what you or other professionals view to be appropriate such as tube feedings and respirators. This concept is closely related to client choice as being able to choose and also have quality of life are vital to the patient. Privacy and confidentiality are very important roles for a nurse in this situation. A patient who is discussing their wishes should feel confident that their nurse will not discuss or share this information with others unless it has been discussed and consent is given. Clients are very vulnerable in this time along with their families; they need to trust their nurse. Respect for life can go in two ways: wanting …show more content…
A nurses’ job is to education their patients on the options for care and provide support. It can be challenging when families are unable to have important conversations with the patient and ask for the nurses’ opinion. Encourage families to sit down with the patient and talk about those difficult topics in a supportive way. Provide resources for the families to use a way to start the conversation i.e. hospice pamphlets, social worker, spiritual counsellors etc. We must use our clinical judgement for most of the questions asked of us but there are ethical issues that will provide a challenge. We must remain impartial in our support of these families and help them reflect on what sort of quality of life the patient would want. The study used interview style meetings with the family and posed situations to the patient and asked them what they thought would provide the best quality of life. Family members would often tell the patient what they thought quality of life for a person is and patients would use that information and form their own definition. Nurses need to remind themselves at every decision or road block that we are to advocate and not decide. Some of us might have religious preoccupations or other personal beliefs that skew our view of the situation, even so we must be mindful of our own internal beliefs and not reflect those onto our

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