Mark, a 35-year-old, was brought via ambulance to the emergency department after collapsing on the street. He was diagnosed with appendicitis and the surgical team was alerted to the potential surgery. The physician prepared to obtain informed consent and began discussing the simple effective surgery and the treatment with the patient. The RN was present at the bedside. The patient stated he did not want surgery. Based upon his beliefs as a Christian Scientist, it is against his practices. He requested a Christian Science practitioner. The patient rated his pain as 9 on 0-10 verbal pain scale so the RN prepared the narcotic analgesic to relieve the patient’s pain. The patient declined the medication. The RN believes the patient should accept the pain medication and have the surgery thinking “If it were me I would proceed with the surgery and treatments proposed by the surgeon.” The surgeon can be heard speaking to a fellow surgeon about how to go about changing the patient’s decision.
Initial Discussion Post:
Address the following:
- State and discuss the legal and ethical considerations occurring in this scenario. Include supporting citations.
- How can RNs support the patient’s decision when the beliefs of the patient are contrary to their own? List three (3) interventions, with supporting rationales, the RN would perform to ensure the delivery of culturally sensitive care.
- Identify one (1) additional major religion, in which the same circumstances might also require the RN to advocate for the patient’s refusal of surgery. Describe the beliefs behind why the identified religion could pose a moral conflict for a similar patient.
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