Read the following hypothetical
case and answer the questions that follow:
Martha is a 75-year-old woman who
has terminal cancer of the bladder. During the course of her therapy, she
sustains third-degree radiation burns to her lower abdomen and pelvic area. Her
wounds are extensive and deep, involving her abdominal wall, bladder, and
vagina. The physician orders frequent medicinal douches and wound irrigations.
These treatments are very painful, and the patient wants the treatments
discontinued but is too timid to actually refuse them. The physician will not
change the order.
• Discuss the situation in terms of
beneficence and nonmaleficence. • How does this patient express her autonomy? •
What is the nurse’s responsibility in assisting the patient to maintain
autonomy? • How does the nurse deal with conflicting loyalties and principles?