Ethical Dilema Essay

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Session 4 Ethical Dilemma Discussion Piece Samantha Stewart I had a situation while I was doing my clinical hours on CVICU that dealt with the ethical dilemma of how much intervention should be provided to a patient when the outlook is bleak. The patient was a 91 y/o male who had come in for a partial lobectomy for a cancerous mass in his right middle lobe. The surgeon discovered that the mass was larger than anticipated when they got in there and ended up removing to lobes of the right lung and the patient did not handle the surgery well. After the surgery the patient declined and his body just would not heal. The day that I cared for this patient he had been in ICU for 10 days post-surgery, he had not been able to be removed from ventilator support since the surgery and his family had decided to have a tracheostomy placed to continue breathing for the patient. Also the patient had developed a painful rash from a medication reaction and now had painful itchy reddened skin. The patient also developed dry painful cracked and blistering lips as a reaction to one or more of the medications that was being used to help control his blood pressure that had continued to be unstable since the surgery. The vasopressors being used seemed to be giving him adverse reactions. So this elderly man came in for a lung surgery and now was in pain and his body was failing, but he did not have an advanced directive, his power of attorney was his elderly frail wife who had dementia and was completely overwhelmed by the situation with her husband and also did not truly seem to comprehend much of what was happening. The children and grandchildren of the couple were there as well, there were about 12 in all and none of them really had any idea exactly what to do either. They had never discussed the patient’s end of life wishes before. They came in everyday and saw his condition

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