Choose a case from the AMA Journal of Ethics Case IndexLinks to an external site. and take a position. For this assignment you will evaluate the ethical arguments for or against the issue. Identify the potential legal arguments (consider current federal guidelines), indicate any potential professional code conflicts you foresee, and support your position with an explanation of your own ethical/moral foundation.
In your 2-3 page paper:
Identify the issue and state your ethical position.
How might this scenario play out or impact you in your role as a nurse practitioner?
Defend your position with legal, ethical, and professional evidence.
As part of your position, propose strategies and solutions for addressing the issues.
What other ethical issues does this case bring to light, if any?
Support your position with at least one scholarly source (it may be your text). Be sure to cite the article you choose, use APA format, and include a title page and reference page.
Title: Ethical Considerations in End-of-Life Care: A Nurse Practitioner’s Perspective
Issue and Ethical Position:
The chosen case from the AMA Journal of Ethics Case Index is “Withholding Information about Terminal Prognosis” (AMA Journal of Ethics, 2016). In this case, a terminally ill patient’s family requests that the healthcare team withhold information about the patient’s prognosis. As a marketing manager, I will take the ethical position that healthcare professionals, including nurse practitioners, should prioritize patient autonomy and disclose the terminal prognosis to the patient, unless there is a clear indication that the patient does not want to know.
Impact on the Role of a Nurse Practitioner:
In this scenario, a nurse practitioner may face a dilemma between respecting the family’s wishes and upholding the patient’s right to know their prognosis. The nurse practitioner must navigate this situation carefully, considering the patient’s best interests, the family’s concerns, and the ethical principles guiding their practice.
Defending the Position with Legal, Ethical, and Professional Evidence:
Legally, the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics states that nurses have a duty to respect and support patients’ rights to be informed about their health status, including terminal prognosis (ANA, 2015). Additionally, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) supports patients’ rights to access their medical information (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2021).
Ethically, the principle of autonomy supports the patient’s right to make informed decisions about their care, which includes knowing their prognosis. The principle of beneficence also supports disclosure, as it may allow the patient to make end-of-life decisions that align with their values and preferences.
Professionally, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) Code of Ethics emphasizes the importance of respecting patients’ autonomy and providing truthful information (AANP, 2020).
Strategies and Solutions for Addressing the Issues:
Assess the patient’s preferences: The nurse practitioner should first determine if the patient wants to know their prognosis. This can be done through open and empathetic communication.
Educate the family: The nurse practitioner should explain the importance of patient autonomy and the potential benefits of disclosing the prognosis to the patient. This may help the family understand the ethical and professional obligations of the healthcare team.
Collaborate with the healthcare team: The nurse practitioner should work with other healthcare professionals to develop a plan for disclosing the prognosis that respects the patient’s autonomy while addressing the family’s concerns.
Other Ethical Issues:
This case also raises the ethical issue of balancing the principles of autonomy and nonmaleficence. While disclosing the prognosis respects the patient’s autonomy, it may cause emotional distress, which conflicts with the principle of nonmaleficence. Healthcare professionals must carefully consider the potential harms and benefits of disclosure in each individual case.
American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements. Silver Spring, MD: Author.
American Association of Nurse Practitioners. (2020). AANP Code of Ethics for Nurse Practitioners. Retrieved from https://www.aanp.org/advocacy/advocacy-resource/position-statements/aanp-code-of-ethics-for-nurse-practitioners
AMA Journal of Ethics. (2016). Withholding Information about Terminal Prognosis. Retrieved from https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/case-index
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2021). Your Rights Under HIPAA. Retrieved from https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/for-individuals/guidance-materials-for-consumers/index.html
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