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Pros And Cons Of Family Presence During Resuscitation Of A Loved One

1854 words - 8 pages

Traditionally, when a patient arrests in a hospital the family is taken away from their beloved ones to a waiting room while life-saving measures are initiated. For many years family members were not allowed in the room during the resuscitation because healthcare workers thought family presence would interfere with the resuscitation process, but the approach towards family presence has improved in recent years. (Wacht, Dopelt, Snir & Davidovitch, 2010). Professional organizations and national guidelines recommend family presence (FP) during resuscitation, and interestingly only 5% of US hospitals have a written policy on the family presence concept and follow the guidelines according to ...view middle of the document...

As a result of the survey, the hospital established a family presence during resuscitation (FPDR) program directed by the hospital Chaplain. Later, ENA published a position statement supporting FPDR in 1995 (Nykiel et al., 2011).
Nowadays making ethical decisions has become a daily nursing practice in the health care industry, and the complex ethical problems the health care professionals face with FPDR keep evolving as they attempt to provide care for their patients. Ethical decision making is a skill that can be developed based on the understanding of the underlying ethical principles, ethical theories, and professional code of ethics. Letting the family member be present during a code will result in a conflict of the health professional’s rights versus the patient’s family member’s rights, which eventually leads to an ethical dilemma. An ethical dilemma occurs when a moral conflict exists between two equally unfavorable commitments. FPDR is supported by ANA code of ethics Provision 2 because it states that the nurses primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group or community. A patient comes from a family or group or community who were the care giver for that patient for many days or years. Advancements in medicine brought patients from a community to the hospital beds and to the critical care units with many life prolonging machines. Family members are an extension of the patient so FPDR is ethical and morally a right for the patient’s familial healthcare providers (Fell, 2009). Ethic theories of utilitarianism supports FPDR with the two underlying principles of the greatest good for greatest number and the ends justify the means. FPDR produces the greatest amount of emotional gratification for the highest number of people. And it allows family member more benefits than concerns. Application of rule utilitarianism will draw the nurse to formulate internal rules that are useful in determining the greatest good for FPDR. The system rule can change depending on the circumstances (Catalano, 2009, p137). According to Day (2006), the utilitarian theory gives equal considerations to all participants at any situation and is ready to give up personal commitments. Fell, (2009) outlined that both teleological and deontological moral theories were used to support FPDR. But teleological or consequence based theories were the most widespread theory used in this context. In a deontological theory, the value judges the rightness or wrongness of an action based on properties intrinsic to the action, not on its consequences, and it stress one is acting right by adhering to the duties and right. By adhering to ANA code of ethics and evidence based practice, extending the care of FPDR can meet nursing morals under deontological theory; however the family’s ethical right is supported by the teleological theory. Many researches show that most patients like to have their family members near them while they are going...

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