When the severely ill elderly patient refuses food : ethical reasoning among nurses.
Forty registered nurses (RNs) regarded as « good and experienced » in either cancer or dementia care, were asked about their decision to feed or not feed a severely ill elderly woman (a hypothetical case).
In order to compare ethical reasoning in the two groups of nurses and to illuminate what it means to RNs to face a situation where the patients can/cannot decide for themselves, a phenomenological hermeneutic approach was used for the analysis.
Both groups saw themselves as the advocate for their patients but in different ways.
The RNs who talked about a mentally alert patient emphasized that they encouraged their patient to speak up for herself, while the RNs who talked about a severely demented patient emphasized that they tried very hard to interpret their patient's vague and unclear communicative cues and to act as her advocate, especially in relation to physicians.
Transcending experiences of dying relatives and patients as well as role models helped them to achieve their ambition of putting themselves in the patient's shoes in order to respect and understand her or his wish and/or what was best for them.
The majority of RNs strongly rejected active euthanasia.
Mots-clés Pascal : Infirmier, Alimentation, Refus, Pratique professionnelle, Ethique, Perception sociale, Attitude, Personnel sanitaire, Vieillard, Homme
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Nurse, Feeding, Denial, Professional practice, Ethics, Social perception, Attitude, Health staff, Elderly, Human
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 95-0104182
Code Inist : 002B30A05. Création : 09/06/1995.