Ethical and Legal Issues Case Study

ETHICAL AND LEGAL ISSUES CASE STUDY 3

Ethicaland Legal Issues Case Study

Ethicaland Legal Issues Case Study

Theethical issues are evident in the case study in the decisionsconsidered by the physician and the nurses. First is to either tocontinue with the life support process or to terminate the procedure.The other ethical issue is for the nurses as to whether to follow thedirectives of the physician and terminate the life support process orignore the directive and keep the patient alive. However, the dilemmais further complicated by the physician’s certainty of the death ofthe patient because of the end-stage cardiac disease and the arrest.There is another ethical issue in regard to the adherence of thedecision by patient’s daughters to withdraw life support, even whenthe process has already started.Basedon the nursing code of ethics, nurses have three mainresponsibilities in such a case. One of the responsibilities is tomake professional decisions to maintain the health and life of thepatient (Rosdahl&amp Kowalski,2008).While in this case, they can do little, they have a responsibility tomake the best decision for the patient’s life. However, nurses havethe surrogate role of adhering to the directions of the physician andthe professional decisions made by the doctor (Rosdahl&amp Kowalski,2008).Nurses also have a responsibility to fulfill the decision of thepatient’s daughters. This, however, contradicts with the firstresponsibility because the patient is likely to die if the lifesupport process is terminated.Theimplementation of the advance directives was adhered to, but ethicalissues place the nurses into a dilemma because of a contrarydirective. This leads to possible legal implications of whicheverdecision made by the nurses, who play the surrogate role. Thephysician knows the legal implications of terminating the lifesupport process, and assumes the responsibility. This gives thephysician full assumption of the legal implications of the decisionand nurses’ actions. References

Rosdahl,C.B., &amp Kowalski,M.T. (2008). Textbookof Basic Nursing.Philadelphia:Lippincott Williams &amp Wilkins