The main objective of the research article “Ethical decision-making in hospicecare” was to determine what comprises the processes and the extent of latitude in making decisions when issues of ethical nature arise in practice (Walker & Breitsameter, 2015). This objective was informed by the idea that the successful process of ending life does not only pay attention to physical suffering, but it also pays high value to the mental and emotional sufferings, spiritual needs, and the social problems of the patient. Hospices are usually set up based on a holistic strategy that considers the well-being of the target clients. One major challenge identified in hospices is that they develop mission statements that also prove very difficult even for themselves to honor as they endeavor to perform their duties following the set standards and codes of ethics in care.
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In an ideal situation, nurses work in an environment that is largely characterized by voluminous standards of professional conduct and multiple standards of expertise and care which provide rules and regulations for how to care administration should be conducted. Furthermore, the nurses are bound by the nursing code of ethics which is established by the International Council of Nurses. With this background information, the authors sought to establish the actual ways in which the four pillars of hospice care are considered during the routine daily activities of hospice nurses, and which problems and challenges emerge as a result of that. It is on this question that the study objective was founded. Within the study, the authors also sought to establish the degree of importance given to established care standards as well as mission statements (Walker & Breitsameter, 2015).
A qualitative approach was used as the ideal method to address the study problem. Data were mainly collected through interviews and observations. After obtaining informed consent from the interviewees, a digital recording system was used to record the interviews. Study ethical considerations included reporting the study to the Ethics Commission, who had initially voiced some concerns when the study protocol was first submitted. At the hospice level where the study was conducted, the directors’ approval was received. Finally, all the rights of the study participants were preserved by way of providing informed consent (Walker & Breitsameter, 2015).
From the study, the authors established that the nature of medications administered in the pre-final phase, and the issues surrounding the provision of liquid and solid in the phase of end-of-life have a very serious ethical dimension. The decisions that are made regarding issues surrounding the two fields have to be made unanimously. The freedom of an individual nurse in making ethically relevant decisions in hospices is limited to the manner of care administration of the individual nurse. It was also established that the ability of the nurse to make an ethically relevant decision largely depends on her ability to incorporate her knowledge of ideal care into the real practical duties (Walker & Breitsameter, 2015).
Walker and Breitsameter (2015) found out that nurses serving in the hospices require the adaptive process to help them apply the critical pillars of hospice care. The pillars comprise the physical and social needs of the clients, as well as the psychological and spiritual care needed by the hospice patients. The researchers also concluded that decision making in day to day nursing practice requires the nurses to adjust to various situations that arise in the hospice (Walker & Breitsameter, 2015).
Walker, A., & Breitsameter, C. (2015). Ethical decision-making in hospicecare. Nursing Ethics, 22(3), 321–330. Web.