Palliative Care Nurse

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ETHICAL ISSUES IN PALLIATIVE CARE Ethical issues arises everyday in palliative care because it involves patients, their families and clinicians. This is inevitable because of individual differences. What is deemed as morally correct for each individual may be vastly influenced by their values, culture, religion or even their perceived obligations. According to World Health Organisations (1990), palliative care can be defined as: “The active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment. Control of pain, of other symptoms, and of psychological, social and spiritual problems is paramount. The goal of palliative care is the achievement of the best possible quality of life for patients and their families” ( in Macdonald 2005:70). The purpose of this essay is to summarize the choosen article; relate the topic to my future role and professional practice as a nurse; and also state the study skills used in the selection, reading and writing of this essay. This article was written by Kathy Kinlaw. She is an associate director and programme director in Health Sciences Ethics, Emory University, Atlanta, United States (US). It is based on frequently raised ethical issues in palliative care which may arise when there is a change from a curative approach towards a palliative approach. The ethical principles addresses respecting patients autonomy; promoting good for the patients (beneficence); the obligation not to harm patients (non-maleficence); and justice. Depending on the situation, it may be difficult to honour all the ethical principle because ethical issues are conflicting. They are characterised by making the right decision to benefit the patient and at the same time being able to justify the decision made. The areas covered in this article were on communication; shared goals; resuscitation decisions; withholding or withdrawal

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