Legal and ethical Issues

Legal and ethical Issues 150 150 Tony Guo

Legal and ethical Issues

  • Patients and families struggle with many decisions during the terminal illness and dying experience
  • Organ and tissue donations
    • Any body part or the entire body may be donated
      • Decided by a person before death
      • With family permission after death
  • Advance Care Planning and Advance Directives
    • Advance care planning is a process that involves having patients think through, talk about, and document their values and goals for treatment
    • Advance directives are the written documents of those wishes and the designated spokesperson
  • Resuscitation
    • A common health care practice
      • Patients and families have the right to decide whether CPR will be used
      • Physician’s orders should specify
        • Full Code
        • Chemical Code
        • No Code – DNR or AND
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Tube feeding placement
  • Be informed
    • Know patient’s wishes
    • Be aware of legal issues
    • Understand documentation requirements
    • Put directives in the medical record
      • Place notices in the nursing care plan and on the patient’s record
  • Euthanasia
    • Deliberate act of hastening death
    • The ANA statement on active euthanasia states that the nurse should not participate in active euthanasia
    • Not the same as palliative sedation
      • Use of medications to intentionally produce sedation
        • Relief of intractable symptoms and distress with imminent death
        • Intent is to relieve pain and suffering

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