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Read this Forbes article: Nurse Refuses To Give CPR, Senior Dies: Ethical Problem Or Legal Issue?

In this case, a nurse calls 911 after discovering that a resident of the assisted-living center where she is employed has stopped breathing. The emergency medical dispatcher (EMD) starts providing CPR instructions to the nurse (who is already trained in CPR), but the nurse refuses to help the patient, citing company policy.

After reviewing this case, discuss whether you think the nurse violated ethics or acted illegally. Explain the difference between unethical behavior and criminal behavior.

Should she have been arrested? What would you do as the responding officer?

Respond to the posts of at least two peers. Consider discussing the extraordinary situation that the healthcare provider was in, given that her employer prohibited lifesaving interventions at the nursing home.

Discuss with fellow students why you agree or disagree that she should have offered care despite what the employer dictated. You may also want to discuss with other students why the police officer should or should not have arrested her for a crime.

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.


peer post one

There is absolutely no criminal behavior here. There is no criminal law stating a doctor, nurse, or first responder has to save someone. It was actually not very long ago that the Supreme Court actually handed down a decision not that long ago when it came to the police protecting the public. "The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the police did not have a constitutional duty to protect a person from harm".(Tribunist, 2016) We do it not because we have to, we do it because we want too. That is the same for any first responder, nurse, or doctor. We all want to help people and are willing to take certain risks and understand the costs. Yes, doctors and nurses have it a little nicer because they do not have to be out in the weather and they are in a building all day but they make the same sacrifices by spending hours and nights away from their families.

I would also argue that ethically she did not do anything wrong either, even though I do not like it. Long story short it was not that long ago I was sent to a domestic violence call and when I got there the husband was in the front yard shooting rounds at the house. I was by myself because we work one person cars. I went and took care of business and eventually others showed up minutes later but when confronted with the situation your job is to fix it, not run away, and not wait for more people. My department does not have a policy that says you must wait. So, if I had waited I think ethically that is wrong and anyone who does should absolutely be fired. If the department policy says you stop and wait for more people, and a first responder waits that would not be unethical. I relate that to the nurse. The company she is employed by tells her not to perform CPR, then you do not perform CPR. Everyone who says ethically she should have and been fired. I ask what if they fired her? Who is going to help her find a new job? Who is paying for her bills? A dirty secret is that in public service, if you do something that is ethically and morally right, but your employer does not like it, your getting fired and zero financial help.

Unethical behavior is not doing a task, job, that is expected of you because of the position you hold. Now if a nurse in the ER, does not perform CPR now that is unethical and should still be fired. However, it is still not criminal because no law states that she has too. The hospital however will end up giving the family a very nice large check.

References

Tribunist. (2016, June 16). Supreme Court Ruling: Police Have No Duty to Protect the General Public. Retrieved from https://tribunist.com/news/supreme-court-ruling-police-have-no-duty-to-protect-the-general-public/


Peer post 2

This week’s discussion focuses on a nurse who follows company policy but not her nursing code of ethics. Once I read the case over I was a little perplexed and talked to both of my aunts who are nurses and then talked to my husband who is a Detective here in our local Sherriff’s Office. I believe that the nurse did violate the nursing code of ethics; however, I do not feel she did anything that was illegal. According to the American Nurses Association code of ethics for nurses, their primary duty is to the patient. Having been showing this code of ethics, I think that no matter what company policy may be the nurse's number one (1) obligation in any life or death situation is to the patient. The company’s policies should not come before the nurse's sworn obligation to protect life as it did in the Lorraine Bayless’s case.

One's view of what is ethical comes from within and is tied to their morals, beliefs, and how they hold themselves accountable for their own actions, it is one’s moral principles (Kaushik, 2011). Criminal behavior, on the other hand, refers to the conduct of an offender that leads to an act which is prohibited by law (Criminal Behavior Law and Legal Definition). When the nurse refused to administer CPR, the nurse technically did not violate any laws. As a person, you are not required to administer CPR to a citizen in need as administering CPR is an ethical and moral action. The law does not actually allow hands-on nursing to be administered to residents who are not in an especially skilled nursing facility (Rosenblatt, 2013). In this instance, I believe that the nurse acted unethically in that she did not help the person she was sworn to protect. As a nurse, it is your duty to do no harm and when she was just standing there looking at her patient dying before her eyes, she did not follow the Hippocratic Oath that nurses take when they are pinned. However, it is a sticky situation for the nurse to in and there is fear of getting sued and/or losing your job for doing your job.

Even though I feel she acted unethically, I would not arrest her. Rather I have collected all the necessary information, take her statement, obtain a copy of the company policy, and after writing my report forward to the DA’s office where they can determine whether or not to file charges against the nurse or reported the nurse to the Nurse Licensing Board and provided them with a copy of the full report detailing the events and actions of the nurse. If I was the nurse in this situation I would have administered CPR and tried to help the patient.

References

Buppert, C., NP, JD. (2013). Is a Nurse Obligated to Perform CPR? Legal and Professional Issues for Nurses. Retrieved March 18, 2019, from https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/781098_2.

Kaushik, N. (2011, May 07). Difference Between Illegal and Unethical. Retrieved July 17, 2018, from http://www.differencebetween.net/science/nature/difference-between-illegal-and-unethical/

Rosenblatt, C. (2013, September 21). Nurse Refuses To Give CPR, Senior Dies: Ethical Problem Or Legal Issue? Retrieved March 18, 2019, from

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carolynrosenblatt/2013/03/08/nurse-refuses-to-give- cpr-senior-dies-ethical-problem-or-legal-issue/#5c3195fa3537

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