Term Paper: Woman Clings to Hope

Pages: 6 (2238 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] The current case would serve to set precedence for future cases involving the issue of dead person's sperm. However, until these changes are made and the court continues to rule against the girlfriend's use of the dead fiancee's sperm, the nurses and medical profession are in the middle of the controversy.

There are many levels of decision making in this case. The first level to consider is the patient. It is a given that human beings have the right to determine what is best for themselves and their own bodies. It is generally agreed that to do otherwise strips a person of basic human rights. It is the job of the clinical nurse to preserve that right to choose for the patient. It may be difficult at times to maintain neutrality, especially when the issue goes against the nurse's personal beliefs. However, it is the bound duty of the nurse to be certain that this does not happen.

The second level of decision is in the health care organization, In this case, policies forbid them from letting one of their staff violate a court order, but it still has the same responsibility as the nurse to maintain patient's privacy and rights. The health care facility has the same moral dilemma as the clinical nurse in this case. It is also the health care facility that must bear the brunt of any legal repercussions from the actions of its staff. In the event that the nurse does violate a court order, it is the health care facility that must decide if and how to punish the nurse and still maintain integrity and credibility.

The third level of decision making involved the government and various levels of the court system. The legislative body must determine how to create laws that are fair and equitable to all involved. The court system must interpret these laws and determine how they apply to each individual case. The court system seldom considers the dilemma that the medical profession has concerning conflicts between their decision and the possible impact on the medical providers. The court simply hands down decrees and expects the medical profession to be able to abide by them without question. This case has made it obvious that there needs to be more cooperation between the courts and the medical profession. When it comes to patient rights the laws are full of controversy. It is not the lawmakers that must ultimately deal with the individual patient and make decision that are considerate of both the patient's rights and fair according to social norms.

The issue of the whether or not the girlfriend could use her dead fiancee's sperm has brought to surface the extreme contradictions that sometimes exist between the law and a nurse' obligation to adhere to a strict code of ethics. When these two factors are in conflict, there is no easy solution to the dilemma. In the case of the ownership of sperm when a person dies, is currently being considered for legislative revision. The proposed legislation sets clear rules for the disposition of a dead man's sperm. This legislation would solve the issue at hand, but at the current time the law has not been passed and the current state of the law leaves too much up for interpretation, so for the mean time, it appears the nurses' will still have to struggle between ANCI Code of Ethics and the rulings of the Supreme Court.

Works Cited

ANCI. National Competency standards of the Registered Nurse. Domain: Professional and Ethical Practice. June, 2002. http://www.anci.org.au/codeofethics.htm. Accessed March,

Artificial Conception Act 1985 - Section 3 (1-3). http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/act/consol_act/aca1985203/s3.html#procedure

Accessed March, 2003.

Davies, Julie-Ann. Sandy Plans to Win Her Race Against Life. The Age Newspaper. May 27,

Lawlink. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)Public Hearing. Sydney. April 15,1988. http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lrc.nsf/pages/R58PH Accessed March, 2003.

MW, DD, TA and AB v The Royal Women's Hospital, Freemasons Hospital and the State of Victoria (5 March 1997) Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Ms Antonia

Kohl). No.H96/26, 96/33, 96/48.

Porter, Deborah. The Regulation of In-Vitro Fertilisation: Social Norms and Discrimination.

Electronic Journal of Law, September 1997. 4 (3).

Reitman, Valerie. Worried troops deposit their sperm before shipping out. Los Angeles Times.

Woman Clings to Hope of having Dead Fiancee's Baby." January 7, 2003.

A http:.//www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/17/07/1041566433161,html [END OF PREVIEW]

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