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Accountability In Nursing: Nurses And Midwives

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Accountability In Nursing: Nurses And Midwives Question: Discuss about the Accountability in Nursing for Nurses and Midwives.   Answer: Introduction Advance directives are living wills which are prepared by individuals in order to decide what the patient wants to do when she faces certain disorder and ailments. It contains the patient’s directions to the physicians about the treatments she wants to have or reject. It helps the doctors and nurses to take decisions and plan their interventions accordingly. It is usually a legal procedure and  is backed up by legal support from court. There is also another type of advance directives where the individual provides the right to another individual for taking decisions on medical healthcare on her behalf. In case of Mrs. B, it was found that the patient was very clear about her wishes of not undergoing any aggressive medical treatment in her living will. She had seen her mother suffer for many years in the nursing home being in a vegetative state which had made him take this decision. However the concept of autonomy from both the patients’ end and the physician’s end created an ethical and legal dilemma. A healthcare professional would always ensure that he maintains the dignity and the autonomy of the patient (Codes of Professional Conduct, 2017). On the other hand, benevolence on the part of the healthcare staff dictates him to be treat patients in such a way so that they can recover well soon and be free from any sort of medical danger and threat of life. Moreover, autonomy on the part of the physician guides him to take decisions for the patient so that the patient can have the best quality lives (Staunton and Chiarella, 2012). As a healthcare professional, his ethical and moral virtue prevents him from withholding the treatment of the patient who can survive with aggressive medical care. Again on the other hand, it is the dignity of the patient that is to be maintained by the doctor ( Codes of ethical practice,, 2017). Moreover, if the doctor overlooks the living will and introduces medical intervention, he may go against the law set up by Australian council and face legal obligations. Hence it often becomes an ethical and legal dilemma for a physician or a nurse to develop a procedural plan in case of such patients.   In order to take correct decisions about to handle such situation, the healthcare staff should firstly make sequential analysis of the entire situation. Resource allocation is a concept which is of primary importance for every healthcare staff while deciding an intervention for patients (, 2017). In case of Mrs. B, the diagnoses conducted by the doctor showed that she requires aggressive medical care and even such care cannot ensure her to be physically fit. Moreover, it was also believed that the patient will be mostly bed ridden and cannot have a quality life. In this scenario, the staff should abide by the will as it would help in completing two main goals. It would save much of the healthcare resources which even if spent on the patients would have provided very less effective output as the patient would not have been able to live a quality life. Besides, saving these resources will enable another needy patient on whom such resources if spent may bring out better results with better quality life. The second goal is that the healthcare professionals will be free from any legal obligations if they follow the living will of the patient. However, as she is suffering from pneumonia, initiatives should be taken so that her physical difficulties be handled in a way that reduces extreme physical and mental discomfort and help in better end of life care. The physician is found to be acting in a proper manner and is following the dignity and autonomy of the patients. His accountability clearly states that and shows that his decision would also keep him away from legal complication and help in proper resources allocation for a better good of the nation.   References: 2017. Ethical considerations relating to health care resource allocation decisions | National Health and Medical Research Council. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017]. 2017. AHPRA – Codes of ethics. [online] Available at: Guidelines.aspx#codesofethics [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017]. 2017. Codes of professional conduct, Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia – Guidelines. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Apr. 2017]. Staunton, P. and Chiarella, M., 2012. Law for nurses and midwives. Elsevier Australia.

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