ESSAY: Practicum Journal Entry: Analyzing an Ethical Decision

To prepare:

Review literature for moral/ethical issues encountered by a PMHNP.
Select one of the articles you found that was published within the last 5 years to use as a focus for this assignment.
Write a 2-page paper in which you do the following:

Summarize the moral/ethical issue in the article (no more than 1 paragraph).
Describe the moral and ethical dilemmas surrounding the issue.
Analyze the ethical issue and compare them to the state health laws and regulations in your state.
Outline the process of ethical decision making you would use to address this ethical dilemma.
Note: Be sure to use the Practicum Journal Template, located in this week’s Learning Resources.

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A Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), is a registered nurse who is devoted to providing the best possible mental care to their patients and their families. A PMHNP has two significant roles while caring for their patients (Orthwein, 2017). The first is to ensure that they utilize their clinical and theoretical knowledge to help in the management of their patients’ mental health. Secondly, they are responsible for prescribing their patients’ medication after the diagnosis, which is also part of their job.

Taking into consideration the weight and demands of their profession, PMHNPs are faced with the need to make ethical decisions every day (Orthwein, 2017). This was especially seen in a descriptive qualitative research study conducted to examine the decision-making ability of individuals who have Schizophrenia (Findlay et al., 2015). The purpose of the study was to have an understanding of the perspectives and experiences of the patients. The primary requirements for the study were that the individuals involved should be over the age of 18, and willing to communicate about their situation. The researchers were then forced to handpick those who qualified to be a part of the research. This was done according to the study’s set parameters.

Moral Issue

The main moral issue in the conducting of the research was the medical practitioner’s lack of respect for the patient’s autonomy. By turning away some of the individuals who wanted to take part in the study, they inevitably decided for the individual without taking their choices and views into consideration. Autonomy is the nursing code of ethics that emphasizes the patient’s right to self-determination (Schwartz, 2016). This refers to the patient’s ability to make decisions about their wellbeing and life without any interference from their health care providers or their families. In the research conducted above, the ethics code was violated when the practitioners conducting the research based their decision on their preferences (Geriani et al., 2015). This is also a daily dilemma that PMHNPs have to face in the daily care, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health patients (Orthwein, 2017). Based on the fact that most mental health patients are rarely ever in a position to handle any decision making due to the nature of their illness. It is, therefore, usually up to their nurses to decide on whether they should receive treatment despite their objections or reservations to the treatment offered.

State Health Laws and Regulations

The state health laws are designed to protect the patient from multiple health risks by providing various programs that ensure public welfare. They are also intended as a way to ensure compliance by the health care providers and safe health care for the patients. The state department of mental health services works in conjunction with mental health providers to ensure that mental health patients have access to high-quality care. The law also provides mental health practitioners with the right to overrule their patient’s decisions if they deem it to be for the individual’s best interest (Gostin & Wiley, 2016). The state laws cite that not all interventions may work for the mental health patients since every case is potentially different. Therefore, it is the PMHNP’s responsibility to consider the particulars of the patient’s case and then make a decision on what approach would best suit the situation. Mental health practitioners are therefore allowed to violate the rule on autonomy, allowing them to stay diverse in the integration of their medical health care practices while ensuring that any decision they make suits the patient’s best interests.

Process of Ethical Decision Making For PMHNPs to ensure that they have made a moral decision in the treatment of their patients. They have to follow a seven-step process…

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