THE BEST WAY TO HONOR A PATIENT’S AUTONOMY IN A NURSING HOME

Consider the scenarios given below and answer the questions listed after each scenario. Justify your answers with appropriate research and reasoning.

Scenario 1

The rising number of uninsured patients has led to an increased reliance on the hospital emergency room for routine nonemergency care. EMTALA ensures patients’ access to the emergency room of any hospital, regardless of patients’ insurance status or their ability to pay. Using the South University Online library or the Internet, read about EMTALA. You can search for this act by using the keyword, “EMTALA” and respond to the following question:

  • How do the law and the medical profession’s code of ethics impact those individuals who seek care from emergency departments for reasons other than those that are truly emergencies?

Scenario 2

Autonomy is one of the most important ethical principles discussed in long-term care. Often, autonomy is in danger of being sacrificed when a patient is in need of a higher level of care. Imagine you are part of the staff at the local nursing home. The administrator has asked you and a group of other employees to discuss the principle of autonomy and how it can be applied to the nursing home setting. As a staff member, answer the following questions:

  • How would you decide the best way to honor a patient’s autonomy in a nursing home and what will you decide?
  • How would you handle differences of opinion in the group as you try to come to a consensus on the best way to preserve autonomy?

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