Ethics and Nursing

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Ethics and Nursing: A Case Study of Mr. E
Maria Merritt
Nursing Roles and Values

November 19, 2012

Ethics and Nursing: A Case Study of Mr. E
Standards of nursing practice guide what we do in our role as registered nurses each and every day we enter the workplace. While there are many laws and rules which govern general nursing practice, the New Mexico Nurse Practice Act provides structure to our practice by requiring a specific set of standards to follow. As I review the case study and put myself in the position of the staff nurse in this situation my thoughts are consistent with this scope of practice standard: "The nurse acts to safeguard the patient/client when his care and safety are affected by incompetent, unethical, or illegal conduct of any person by reporting the conduct to the appropriate authorities." (New Mexico Nurse Practice Act, 2012). In this instance the staff nurse failed to advocate for Mr. E by not informing nor asking his brother, Mr. Y, if he was aware his brother had an advanced directive. By asking the question this would have facilitated a discussion about Mr. E's presenting symptoms and the treatment options available. This would have provided an opportunity for further education and correlation that Mr. E's physical symptoms and history of developmental delays aren't an ideal combination for making a decision regarding his current treatment options. In safeguarding for the patient this would include full disclosure of all knowledge the nurse had of the patient's wishes.
Complicating matters Mr. Y called his niece, Ms. H., who arrives at the hospital before him. Dr. K sees her and proceeds to discuss the patient's privileged and protected health information in a public area while inferring she must provide consent for placing patient on a ventilator. This is extremely unethical and unprofessional

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