One possible clinical dilemma that I would encounter in my career would be caring for a terminal cancer patient who is experiencing extreme amounts of pain and determine whether I should inform them about Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders. Not all patients are aware of what a DNR entails since many doctors and nurses perceive it as a way of “giving up” so to speak and in direct violation of their oaths to care for their patients. This is not to say though that a DNR has no place in the field of medicine. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
The practice of medicine is not limited to addressing illnesses or injuries; it also entails making sure that a patient’s quality of life does not deteriorate beyond what is acceptable. This is why DNRs were created in the first place since there are certain cases where the use of modern medicine to sustain a person’s life beyond what they should have naturally been able to do causes more harm to them in the form of more pain and suffering.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
DNR requests often occur when a cancer patient’s condition has progressed to the point that they are experiencing extreme amounts of pain that even morphine cannot assist them with (Burns & Truog, 2016). Given the potential for organ failure in some cases (ex: lung cancer), a patient that has been suffering from this sort of condition is likely to request a DNR given their substantially decreased quality of life and the desire to simply have it end. As a nursing practitioner, I am ethically obligated to save the life of my patient; however, given their current condition and the fact that it is terminal, I do have the moral obligation to inform them about what a DNR does and how it could help them. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
The problem with simply informing patients of this option is that it can create a level of resentment between the family of the patient and the nursing practitioner. Family members do not want to see their loved one die; they want them to live; however, terminal cancer has not other option aside from making the patient as comfortable as possible. Unfortunately, in these situations, many family members refuse to believe the inevitable outcome and view DNRs as an unacceptable practice that indicates that the doctors and nurses in charge of caring for their loved one have given up.
Burns, J. P., & Truog, R. D. (2016). The DNR Order after 40 Years. New England Journal Of Medicine, 375(6), 504.