The paper is about the change of the administration or medication to a patient in a given hospital. Mrs Reid, who is 82 years old, is a white English woman who had been diagnosed before with the infection of the dementia that resulted due to the breaking of her neck. While at the care ward, she refuses to take the medication given to her and thus, the nurses’ searches for other ways that they will use to ensure that the patient takes up the medication given to her. This is at 4pm o’clock at the BUPA care homes in London, when the doctor insists that Thioridazine which is an anti psychotic drug has to be given to the patient.
The patient have been refusing to take up the medication claiming that it makes her numb, because of this, the nurses comes up with another strategy that they would use to ensure that the medication is administered by the patient. Thus, they start crushing the medication in a glass of orange juice that the patient is later on given to take. Thus there are three major people involved in this incident; the doctor who decides upon the type of medication to be administered to the patients, the nurses who have to ensure that the patient administers the medication given to her and the patient herself.
ANALYSIS In this particular incident, the personal issue is that the patient has to be comfortable in administering the medication while the nurses have to accomplish their professional responsibility of ensuring that the patient administers the medication given to her. To accomplish this, they have to understand the patient and look for ways that will convince the patient to administer the medication. This incident is very critical because when the patient insists that she do not want to administer the medication given to her, she may end up loosing her life.
Thus, the nurses have to be more concerned with the patient life and establish another way of administering the medication to the patient. While doing this, the nurses are to ensure that legal and ethical principles are put into consideration. The paper will discuss these principles and how they relate to the incident. PRINCIPLE OF NONMALEFICENCE This principle states that, do no harm to someone, it is normally the result of the principle of beneficence (McHale, J. & Gallagher, A. 2003). It implies that, no matter what the step that one takes, whether good or evil, he or she has to ensure that he causes no harm to the receivers.
With the step of the nurses to crush the medication into the glass of patient’s juice, they observed this ethical principle, in that, as much as they insisted on the medication that the patient did not want, they were still helping her to prolong her life span on earth. Thus, it is clear that, they were with good motives while administering the medication to the patient through the glass of juice. This shows how responsible the nurses were to make sure that the patient gets well. PRINCIPLE OF BENEFICENCE This principle illustrates the kindness, charity and the mercy that one has to poses while attending to any patient at the hospital.
It illustrates the level of love to one another, the humanity together with the promotion of the good of others in the society (Richard, A. J. , 2004). In the incident, this has been illustrated clearly when the nurses tries to understand the feelings of the patient of the effect of the medication to her body. But because of the love and humanity that they have, to serve her life, they try to come up with other ways in which they can use to administer the medication to the patient. The principle is also concerned with the obligation of one to act for the benefit of the other party (Beauchamp, T. 2008).
When the patient is unable to open the mouth to take the medication, it was the responsibility of the nurses to take it into consideration to ensure that the patient undertakes the medication to serve her life. Due to this, it forced them to plan for other strategy that they could use to ensure that the patient takes up the medication without much struggle with them. PRINCIPLE OF AUTONOMY Autonomy is the capability for self determination. In the context of the health care ethics, it means to feel free from any type of intimidation in deciding to act and that others are compelled to protect confidentiality (Thompson, I.
E. , Melia, K. M. & Boyd, K. M. , 2000, pg 25). It does not mean that the other party has to cooperate for the other person to practice the exercise. In the incident above, the principle of autonomy was in practice when we finds out that only some of the nurses were involved in the decision of crushing the medication into the patient’s glass of juice. They did not need the cooperation of Mrs. Reid to act upon the administration of the medication but all they had to do was to ensure that the secret was within them. In the long run, the patient was able to take the medication minus the consent of it.
PRINCIPLE OF JUSTICE This principle is all about the concept of the human rights in any society together with the common good and human rights. It is one of the most powerful legal and ethical principles in the nursing department in any given country (Staunton, P. J. & Chiarella, M. 2003, pg 28). It entails the equal distribution of the individual needs and responsibility in society. In the health cares department, the principle demands for equal access to the health care facilities and services essential for human living. It also implies that the society has a duty to persons with serious needs.
It is with this reason, that the nurses at the Bupa health care centre saw it necessary for the change in the way of administering the medication to Mrs. Reid. The patient had a problem with the opening of the mouth to take the medication and some times, she could even spit it out. Thus, the nurses thought it wise, to put it in her glass of juice so that, by the time she would be taking the juice, she will also be taking the medication needed for her survival. RESPECT While considering the ethical principles, the nurses were very much keen to ensure that they respect their respective patients at the care home.
In this particular incident, the aspect of respect is clearly seen when the nurses respect the fact that the patient could not administer the medication as it was and thus they came up with strategy that she could take it without her knowledge. HONESTY The aspect of respect is in two faces in this incident. One, the nurses were honest with each other to keep the secret of the method to administer the medication to the patient. At the same time, the nurses were un-honest to the patient as they pretended to be giving her juice while in real sense the patient was taking the medication. CONFIDENTIALITY
The aspect of confidentiality was incorporated in the incident when the nurses tried to appreciate the principle of autonomy at their workplace. This is brought out in the sense that, they administered the medication to the patient without her conscious. They kept the secret within themselves. VALUING DIVERSITY The nurses appreciated the value of diversity in the sense that they could understand the short comings of the patient and came up with new strategy to administer their medication to the patient. Thought this aspect, we find out that the nurses value all the aspects of every patient and tries to assist them in every way.
LESSON LEARNT From the incident, the nurses have learnt to be on watch out for some of the patient who has complications in the administration of medications given to them at the health centres. After that, they have to make the patient comfortable in taking the medication by introducing anew technique of administering the medication to the patient. EFFECTIVENESS OF THE RESPONSE In putting the strategy into practice, the response was very satisfying in the beginning as the patient had not realised the presence of the medication in the juice, and thus, she could take the glass of juice comfortably.
As much as this was easier for the nurses to administer the medication, they have to think of another strategy because the patient will tire with the intake of juice after sometime. Therefore, they have to incorporate the same strategy in a glass of drinking water of the patient. This will be much better as no chemical will be reacting with the medication. OTHER PLAN IF THE INCIDENT PERSISTS In the case where the incident persists, the patient will now be liable for the use of the intravenous drip. This is where by the medication is administered into the veins of the patient directly.
It is normally fast in medication reaction to the body system of an individual. This will provide the patient with the fast response to the medication with little struggle on the administration of it. CONCLUSION In summary, the response to the incident made by the nurses was that of short term and thus, they have to come up with a better strategy to attend to Mrs. Reid problem at their elderly care centre. REFERENCE Richard, A. J. (2004) Moral Limits on the Demands of Beneficence in the Ethics of Assistance Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
McHale, J. & Gallagher, A. (2003) Nursing and Human Rights United Kingdom: Butterworth Heinemann Publisher Beauchamp, T. (2008) The Principle of Beneficence in Applied Ethics Retrieved 19th January 2009 from http://plato. stanford. edu/entries/principle-beneficence/ Thompson, I. E. , Melia, K. M. & Boyd, K. M. (2000) Nursing Ethics pp 24-26 New York: Elsevier Health Sciences Publisher Staunton, P. J. & Chiarella, M. (2003) Nursing & the Law pp 28-30 Australia: Elsevier Australia Publisher