How Dnr Causes an Ethical Dilemma

1720 words 7 pages

How DNR Causes an Ethical Dilemma
Deann Morgan
HCA 322, Health Care Ethics and Medical Law
Dr. David Cole
January 22, 2010

Abstract This paper will present an argument of how the process of do not resuscitate (DNR) results in an ethical dilemma for workers in the healthcare field. In presenting the argument, this paper will also address the following three course learning objectives: 1) explain the legal rights of individuals as they interact with health care services, 2) analyze the monitoring systems that ensure human rights, legal aspects, and quality
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A dissenting statement by Justice Brennan, however, a patient should be allowed to die with dignity. (Roberts, 2002, 243-43) This case definitely presents an ethical dilemma the choice was made despite the wishes of the family. In DNR cases, it is important the healthcare workers understand the importance of their decisions and the legality of the written DNR orders in order to avoid liability and best carry out the patient’s request in DNR cases. (Michael, 2002, 23) Healthcare workers have the responsibility to know in advance the patient’s directives when it comes to DNR as well as identify related documents. (Michael, 2002, 22) Ethical dilemmas involving carrying out the actual DNR rarely occur in other healthcare areas such as nursing, but it mainly occurs with physicians since they are the responsible party for making such decisions and following the DNR orders. However, “once the decision is made, critical care nurses are left with implications of the decision in providing patient and family care.” (Prevost, Jensen, & Hodgins, 2000, 259) Yet the use of DNR is justified by two primary rationales: 1) respect for patient autonomy and 2) reduction of futile, costly medical care. (Weiss, 2000, 308) Paramedics are another group of healthcare workers that may face ethical dilemmas when it comes to carrying out DNR


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