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Patient's autonomy in a nursing home

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?

Solution Preview

A patient that arrives to a nursing home is unable to live alone or in an assisted facility and in need of skilled nursing care. There is a delicate balance between what the patient's needs including their treatment and the patient's liberty and right to decide and pursue a course of treatment or living situation without coercion (Scalan, 2001). The patient's autonomy resides on the patient's right to make a decision ...

Solution Summary

The solution is a discussion on honoring the patient's autonomy in a nursing home. References are included.

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