This may include life-saving surgery, medication use, or other interventions that will directly prevent serious harm to the patient.
In practice, nurses should determine the capacity of the patient, examine their reasons for refusal, and determine the extent to which ethical care can be delivered.
These include the right to autonomy, dignity, respect, justice and equality.
It is also important to involve patients in the decision-making process as much as possible.
Learning objectives By the end of this chapter you should be able to: - Identify common ethical dilemmas in nursing practice.
- Understand how patients and healthcare professionals interact to make decisions.
You should always engage patients in an open discussion about treatment options and act ethically to prevent risk to your own professional status.
In the case of young children, parents have the right to determine the course of treatment and the right to refuse treatment on behalf of the child.
Capacity should be assessed, and it should be determined whether or not the patient is able to make this decision based on this assessment.
If a patient does not have capacity, suitable approaches may be used to advocate for treatment.