Family Witnessed Resusitation Essay
There are several legal and ethical issues relating to FWR. Some of the key legal concerns expressed by healthcare professionals include the potential for litigation, patient confidentiality, and the patient’s right to privacy (Mian et al, 2007; Critchell et al, 2007). Litigation and liability concerns arise from the fact that, in most cases, family members will have little understanding of the procedures used in the code room. The fear is that the staff’s actions could be perceived as detrimental or harmful to the patient in the eyes of the typical lay-person.
The reality is that once healthcare providers become educated and experienced with FWR, this fear is alleviated, as found in a study conducted by Mian et al (2007). In this same study however, confidentiality and privacy concerns were unchanged, suggesting that this is an issue hospitals will need to address if they are to implement FWR. The ethical issues involved with FWR revolve around the mental and emotional impact that families and medical professionals may experience if a code is witnessed.
Performance anxiety and the potential loss of professional distance from the patient for healthcare providers and how traumatic the experience may be for family members are major ethical concerns with FWR (Mian et al, 2007; Critchell et al, 2007). Mian et al found that nurse attitudes regarding potential trauma for the family improved with experience while physician attitudes did not. Studies of family member reactions suggest that the experience is not excessively traumatic for family and may actually be a beneficial part of the grieving process (Critchell et al, 2007).
Performance anxiety for the staff seems to be the bigger issue. Though this factor seems to improve with experience (Mian et al, 2007), staff anxiety will still be a driving concern when it comes to the ethical consideration of whether or not it is beneficial for family members to be present. Discuss the viewpoints of various medical professionals in regards to FWR The general trend in opinions regarding FWR is that nurses tend to favor it while physicians tend to be against it (Critchell et al, 2007).
The study conducted by Mian et al looked at attitudes pre- and post- FWR experience and in both situations found that nurses had a more favorable view of FWR (2007). While there are many potential reasons for this trend, one possible explanation is that nurses have more interaction with the patient and the patient’s family, thus establishing more of a connection which in turn makes nurses feel more comfortable with family members present. Discuss the patient and family experiences associated with FWR
Most people believe that it is their right to be present during a loved-one’s resuscitation, should they so desire. Contrary to the fears of the medical community, family members who have been present during a resuscitation report that the experience was not traumatic for them and would in fact opt to witness it again. Also, being present seems to provide a sense of closure and security in knowing that everything possible was done to save their loved one’s life (Critchell et al 2007).
What is your opinion regarding family presence during resuscitation ? Do you support this practice? Why or why not? I believe that the immediate family members should be given the option to be present during resuscitation of the patient. I believe that it is the immediate family members’ right to be present if they choose to be and if they are not disruptive to the medical team that is attempting to resuscitate the patient. I support this practice because of my own beliefs.
I would want to be present if my family member was critically ill and needed to be resuscitated. It would give me the opportunity to support my loved one, to have closure, to have a sense of the severity of their illness, and to say my goodbyes if my loved one was not able to be resuscitated. If I were a patient, I would also want to have my immediate family at my side. I might be alert and scared during the resuscitation. Knowing that my family was at my bedside would be comforting to me.