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Module 4 Case Study #5 Ms. L.: Rational Suicide Ms. L. is a 45-year-old married mother of two teenaged daughters who has been treated for breast cancer at your hospital. Her mother was diagnosed...

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Module 4

Case Study #5

Ms. L.: Rational Suicide

Ms. L. is a 45-year-old married mother of two teenaged daughters who has been treated for breast cancer at your hospital. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 42, and committed suicide at age 49 when she found out her cancer was no longer treatable. At the time of her mother’s death, Ms. L. was 15 years old – “My father did the best he could, but I was an only child and I missed having my mother around.” The patient’s husband accompanies her to her chemotherapy treatments when he can, but he often travels out of town often, leaving her to manage the household and her treatment alone.

She tells you that her oldest daughter, age 15, has started to “act up” and she doesn’t understand why “because I’ve done a real good job of keeping this a secret from both of the children.” Her husband has told you that it’s hard on him to keep the secret but he doesn’t want to go against her wishes - “I wouldn’t know what to say to them anyway.”

Today, during her 3-month clinic visit, the patient tells you that she’s been having severe headaches for some time now and you notice that she looks jaundiced. She tearfully tells you that she understands why her mother committed suicide – “it’s a lot easier to take some pills than to face the pain and suffering of your breast falling off, getting horrible brain tumors, and losing your mind.”

She asks you, “If I tell you something in confidence, will you promise not to tell anyone?” You promise to keep things confidential, and then she tells you that she has contacted the Hemlock Society and now knows how she can commit “rational suicide.” She already has the pills and plans to do it while her husband is out of town and her children are in school.

Answered Same Day May 16, 2020


Soumi answered on May 21 2020
129 Votes
Running Head: MS. L.: RATIONAL SUICIDE        1
Table of Contents
Introduction    3
Ethical principles impacting the case study    3
Discussion of 7 steps by Pottery and Pe
y for processing an ethical dilemma    4
Personal philosophy of nursing and its impact on addressing the case study    5
Conclusion    5
References    6
    Ethical dilemmas occur when decision-making becomes difficult in terms of determining the ‘appropriate’ decision from the ‘lesser appropriate’ one in a situation. It leaves the involved decision-maker perplexed, due to a collision between their perception, morals and ethics, while judging the situation. Hence, it is important to process the ethical dilemma, first, with a suitable method so that the resolution of the confusing situation can be eliminate. The present study highlights the ethical dilemmas in case of Ms. L’s decision to commit a rational suicide that has been implicated through Pottery and Pe
y’s 7 steps within nursing care practice.
Ethical principles impacting the case study
    The provided case scenario highlights that Ms. L is a 45 years’ old woman suffering from
east cancer. She has a family with her husband and two teenaged daughters, whom she does not want to inform about her cu
ent health conditions, nor of the fact that she is cu
ently, undergoing the treatment. She has a painful past of her mother also being suffering from
east cancer at the age of 49 years, and having committed suicide when Ms. L was only 15 years’ old, because the former discovered that her condition reached an incurable stage. Therefore, when Ms. L too began developing worse health issues, possibly due to progressing cancer, she expressed her desire to commit suicide like her mother, for which she had also contacted the Hemlock Society and managed sourcing suicidal pills to end her life in her family’s absence.
    However, for me, it is a difficult situation to confide her secret to myself, as it also involves the interest of her family, who care for her so much and let her commit suicide only out of her will, without analyzing its appropriacy through ethical guidelines of nursing practice. Therefore, the ethical principle that first emerges in this case is the right of the patient to autonomy, under which as mentioned by Ford, English, Dowshen and Rogers (2016), the patient is liable to receive autonomous behavior from the nurses. Hence, her decision to commit suicide should be respected according to this principle.
    Nevertheless, it conflicts with the ethical principles of beneficence and non-maleficence. As defined by Kassam-Adams and Butler (2017), beneficence stands for the psyche to cause benefits to others, while non-maleficence is the tendency to prevent causing harm to others. Within nursing practice, these two are considered as two of the most...

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