Term Paper: Morality and Ethics

Pages: 8 (2443 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Just 25% of Americans die at home surrounded by their family and friends, despite research showing that 70% say that they would prefer to die at home.

To prevent the misuse of painkillers, 35 states in the U.S.A. have laws or policies that make it difficult for doctors to prescribe such medications to dying patients.

Many Americans get aggressive end-of-life care in a hospital and not at home.

A study showed that 28% of North Americans ages 65 and over were admitted to an intensive care unit during the last six months of life.

Most hospitals in the U.S. still don't have end-of-life programs that automatically deliver services to dying patients, such as dedicated help of a social worker or Minister trained to work with the dying and their loved ones.

Despite the growing need for end-of-life care, many doctors and nurses don't receive formal training in this field. Just 39% of the physicians caring for dying patients had been trained in issues that often come up as death approaches.

One example of training: how to arrange for social services.

It is sad to see how little attention is paid to care at the end of life," said

Jim Towey, a former hospice worker who is now the director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. He says

He hopes these facts will start a discussion on how the United States can improve the care of dying patients.

The most important recommendation is that families should talk about end-of-life issues - before a medical crisis occurs.

Special challenges: "difficult patients" and patients in suicidal crisis

Even the most conscientious health care provider is human and may sometimes be angered or even provoked by the things that some patients say or do. Having taken an oath to "first do no harm" some strategies to be used keep a positive attitude with difficult patients are:

Keep in mind that many of the most difficult patients come from a world most of us have never seen. Growing up in poverty, with child abuse, or no one to look after you properly does not exactly give a person an outline of the proper way to behave in public.

Some patients present themselves at an emergency room or hospital with conditions which may actually make other people nauseated. Festering, disfiguring tumors, horrifying burns, or sometimes just pure filth, may cause you to want to pull away. Keep in mind that the patient is probably very aware of their problems and is watching you closely to see your reaction. Control can be learned and should be learned for the patient's sake and for your own.

Uncooperative patients try the patience of health care providers. Some are uncooperative because they are ill, some are drunk or on drugs, and some are just jerks. Regardless, of the reason, you should make every effort to complete whatever procedure the patient needs and not lose control of your patience.

Dealing with the family of a suicide victim will probably be one of the most difficult jobs you have to do. Suicide leaves questions which will never be answered. Special care should be taken to comfort the family of the victims and to keep away from any religious or moral judgments that you, personally have made.

Conclusion

The last portion of this text is spent talking about living ethically within a health care setting. If one chooses to follow the suggestions and directions Dr. Purtilo has given and we have discussed in this paper, each health practitioner will benefit in one way or another from this experience. Dr. Purtilo has her own website on which she answers question about medical ethics and how to cope on the days that we are slipping away from our "professional best behavior."Probably the best advice which may be given to any health care practitioner is, "Remember your ethics and your values. You see people at their most vulnerable and even a smile is a source of comfort. Don't ever, ever, forget that there is a person in that bed before you, someone's father, husband, son, mother, or daughter, not just a chart or a patient number. To the patients you treat in the future, you will appear calm and wise which will comfort them greatly."

Bibliography

Dunn, M. (1998). "Knowledge helps health care professionals deal with ethical dilemmas."

AORN Journal. p.1-2.

Eckberg, E. (April, 1998). "The continuing ethical dilemma of t he do not resuscitate order."

AORN Journal. April, 1998.

Ferrell, V. (2000). "A nurse's perspective." End of Life Care. Research Perspective: Harvard

Kaplan, D. (November, 2000). "Ethical decision making at the end of life." Patient Care,

November 15th, 2000 issue.

Patients' knowledge of options at the end of life: Ignorance in the fact of death," The Journal of the American Medical Association. November, 15, 2000. (p. 9).

Physicians' ethical obligations to patients." USA Today Magazine. February, 2000.

Dunn, M. (1998). "Knowledge helps health care professionals deal with ethical dilemmas." AORN Journal. p.1-2

Physicians' ethical obligations to patients." USA Today Magazine. February, 2000.

Eckberg, E. (April, 1998). "The continuing ethical dilemma of t he do not resuscitate order." AORN Journal. April, 1998.

Kaplan, D. (November, 2000). "Ethical decision making at the end of life." Patient Care, November 15th, 2000 issue.

Patients' knowledge of options at the end of life: Ignorance in the fact of death," The Journal of the American Medical Associan. November, 15, 2000. (p. 9).

Ferrell, V. (2000). "A nurse's perspective." End of Life Care. Research Perspective: Harvard… [END OF PREVIEW]

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