Assignment: Problematic Situations
Therefore, it is important to understand the legal construct that affects health care decisions. The laws of all the states reflect an individual’s constitutional right to privacy and to make personal decisions free from outside influence. Consequently, the right to make health care decisions is personal to the patient involved, and no one else has the right to interfere. In cultures where family input is sought for such decisions, or a surrogate decision maker is used, this legal principle could create decision-making conflicts. A competent individual can appoint someone else to make decisions for him or her, thus removing the conflict.
The more problematic situation is when the patient is unable to make his or her wishes known because of the patient’s medical condition. In that situation, it is important to have documents prepared in advance that name who will make decisions for the person and what decisions are to be made that are consistent with the person’s cultural beliefs. Health care powers of attorney are documents that appoint who will make decisions for the person if he or she is unable to decide. A living will documents what decisions and desires a person has about his or her care and end-of-life decisions, and it can, and should, include instructions respecting the person’s cultural beliefs. Many states have combined these two documents into one advance health care document that covers all the various decisions. Whatever format is utilized in a particular state, the importance of having these documents remains.
Ethical Considerations Ethics point to standards or codes of behavior expected by the group to which the individual belongs. Ethics are different from morals in that morality refers to personal character and what the individual believes is right or wrong conduct. For example, a nurse’s moral code may consider murder to be wrong, but the nurse has an ethical obligation to provide services for a murderer if the murderer is a patient in the medical facility.
You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.
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The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.