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When handling patients suffering from terminal illnesses, it is my role to ensure that a patient can successfully manage the condition, experience reduced pain, and approach the end of life stages with a positive outlook. Although my intention is to help such patients, complications may occur because of the choices made by the patients. The case of Brian, who is 55 years old and declined to adopt the advice and the equipment presented by me presents an ethical dilemma for any nurse. In this paper, I will discuss Brian’s case study in detail, evaluating, and analysing the case study and presenting my final ethical decision. In addition, the paper will examine the utilitarian ethical principle and weigh it against the respect for autonomy in an effort to help Brian experience quality life despite his condition.
Brian, aged 55 years suffers from multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is a condition that presents adverse effects on an individual’s immune system. Specifically, the disease affects the protective sheath surrounding nerves. As a result, individuals suffering from the disease do not have a normal communication between the brain and the body. As the disease progresses, an individual’s nervous system may deteriorate badly. Usually, there is no cure for multiple sclerosis and patients with the disease have no other choice but to manage their condition. In the case of Brian, the disease has progressed to the level whereby he needs a wheelchair because he cannot walk (Dimond, 2011). Therefore, the disease has served to debilitate him compelling him to rely on my help and other social workers who help him to feed, wash, and get him out of bed occasionally. Worth noting is the fact that Brian does not have any carer at home because his wife suffers from Parkinson’s disease. Since Brian’s condition compels him to stay in bed or the wheelchair for many hours, he is subject to
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