Case Study Analysis
CASE STUDY ANALYSIS
CASE STUDY ANALYSIS
The mentioned case study, “The Physician’s Orders: The Nurse as Moral Spectator” through which the case of Gretchen Sears’s infant and other implications are elaborated. The incident is a bit tragic and features multiple ethical facades, and unlike other similar cases, the ethical framework does not base on religious or internal moral concepts. Instead, the morality of a neonatal nurse nudged by the seemingly cruel decision of a higher authority and regardless of the rationale, the nurse is unable to agree with the decision made. The neonatal nurse Mr. Simmons encounters distress because of the measures of premature infant care provided by an obstetrician and the physician. Throughout the case, several points are clear that the obstetrician and physician are unaware of the exact gestation and actual age of the infant. Moreover, it is evident that the infant did not have any apparent physical damages. Such information is imperative to consider before deciding to halt the medical treatment of the infant.
When it comes to sifting through the interrelated dilemma and other components of the case, several theories arise. For instance, the decision of the physician highlights utilitarian approach through which he is trying to lighten the burden of parents and society. According to the utilitarianism, the decisions are made by considering the consequences regardless of apparent irrationality of the action (Cavalier, 2002). It is might possible that the physician was considering the problems, the young parents will encounter in nurturing a premature baby and in case of any disability and imparity the burden will be both on parents and society. However, Mr. Simmons is a follower of the deontological ethics that entirely focuses on the nature of actions by avoiding the consequences altogether (Ethics Unwrapped, 2019).
Moreover, Mr. Simmons is caught in double trouble as he has to address the necessities of the physician-nurse relationship as well as nurse-patient relationship. The infant is the patient of Mr. Simmons and her protection, and cautious supervision of the treatment procedure is his core responsibility. On the other hand, the ethical manual of American Nurses also encourages nurses to question inappropriate or inadequate medical care practices of seniors (ANA, 2016). In the subject métier of healthcare, the patient is the pivot stakeholder, and all efforts should revolve around the well-being of the patient’s health and safety. And in this perspective, it is not a sane or feasible idea to shun all the efforts to save the baby just because of her tiny body and premature birth. In the context of the physician-nurse relationship, it is evident that Mr. Simmons is an experienced neonatal nurse and has more than sufficient knowledge regarding his profession. Therefore, he is rightfully entitled to interrupt into the decision of the physician and can present an alternative course of action.
Amidst of overall ethical situation and the pell-mell of utilitarianism and deontological moral clash, it is the most practical decision to involve the parents of the infant into the discussion. The infant belongs to them, and they have legal and ethical rights to decide about the destiny of that premature baby. And in due course, when the physician is in favor of taking such substantial decision on his own, the neonatal nurse, Mr. Simmons should come in action and should raise the question about the feasibility of not providing treatment to the infant and should relay the information to the parents as soon as possible. Ethical frameworks, nursing ethical conceptualization and a generic sense of morality support Mr. Simmons’s standpoint and proffer him ways to stand against such illogical decision within the healthcare facility premises.
Cavalier, R. (2002). Utilitarian Theories. http://caae.phil.cmu.edu/Cavalier/80130/part2/sect9.html
Deontology. (2019). https://ethicsunwrapped.utexas.edu/glossary/deontology
The Nurse's Role in Ethics and Human Rights - ANA Position Statement. (2016). https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/nursing-excellence/official-position-statements/id/the-nurses-role-in-ethics-and-human-rights/
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