"Nursing Law and Ethics" is a perfect example of a paper on care. As part of the institutional, professional, and personal ethical standards, health care professionals such as the doctors and nurses are expected to respect the patients’ decisions with regards to their own preferred care and treatment at all times. In case the patient is terminally ill, the patient has the right to decide whether or not to receive any form of care or treatment from the health care professionals. In relation to case number 1, the nurse is caring for a 12-year-old boy with cancer who wanted to stop receiving chemotherapy.
Even though it is part of the nursing ethics to respect the decisions of the patients when it comes to their preferred care or treatment, the nurse should keep in mind that there is a special set of ethical and legal consideration when caring for terminally or chronically ill patients who are minors particularly with regards to the issue on “ informed consent, parental permission, and child assent” (Bowden & Greenberg, 2010, p. 55). In most cases, health care professionals should abide by parental consent in case the patient is a minor.
However, Bowden and Greenberg (2010, p. 55) mentioned that “ the age at which a child or adolescent can legally exercise voluntary and informed consent for treatment without parental permission varies from state to state and the medical condition of the child” . Therefore, to avoid facing legal charges in the future, the nurse should conduct his or her own research with regards to the nursing ethics and legal guidelines in the state where he or she is working as a nurse.
By seeking advice from the legal experts, the nurse can figure out whether or not to grant the boy’ s wishes not to continue his chemotherapy against his parents’ consent to continue with the treatment. Case Study # 2 As part of nursing ethics, informed consent is all about telling the patients the general facts about their treatment, care, or medication. As part of the ethical issue with regards to informed consent, nurses are obliged to inform the patients about some general facts about their treatment, care, or medication will help them decide on their preferred treatment, care, or medication.
Furthermore, nurses should also practice non-maleficence, beneficence, and justice. It means that the nurses should avoid injuring the patients at all times and that health care professionals should do only good actions that can contribute a positive impact on the patients’ overall health and well-being. On the other hand, justice is all about being fair to all (Polit & Beck, 2004, p. 159). Considering the nursing ethics mentioned earlier, it is clearly unethical on the part of the nurses to follow the physician’ s order to routinely prescribe antidepressants to all new residents who will be admitted to a nursing home.
First of all, administering antidepressants to patients who are not even depressed may only end up suffering the adverse health effects of the drug. In line with this, the nurse does not only violate the law of non-maleficence but also the law of beneficence and justice. Lastly, instructing the nurse to say “ this is just a pill your physician ordered” is a total violation of informed consent.
By not being honest about explaining the details of the medication, the nurse does not only violate the law of informed consent but also violates the patients’ right to make their own decision with regards to their preferred care and treatment.
Bowden, V., & Greenberg, C. (2010). Children and Their Families: The Continuum of Care. PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Polit, D., & Beck, C. (2004). Nursing Research: Principles and Methods. 7th Edition. PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.