Ethical Dilemmas Before and During Anaesthetic Induction of Young Children, as Described by Nurse Anaesthetists
Journal of child health care : for professionals working with children in the hospital and community 2010 Dec; 14(4): 345-54
Research on physicians', nurses' and enrolled nurses' experiences of ethical dilemmas have been conducted in many healthcare fields. The aim of this study was to elucidate ethical dilemmas before and during the induction of anaesthesia of children aged three to six years as described by nurse anaesthetists (NAs). Two group interviews with NAs were conducted where they were asked to describe ethically problematic situations. Three situations were chosen from a total of 15: administration of anaesthesia to an already sleeping child, lack of information given to a child, and a child is anaesthetized against his/her will. Conceivable and reasonable alternative options were identified and consequences of the different actions were presented. Finally the conflicts of value were discussed and commented on. The cases describe when a child's rights are given less weight and the child has little opportunity to participate in the decision making. However, parents and NAs acted in the best interest of the child. Analysing and reflecting on situations involving ethical dilemmas would enhance NAs critical thinking and guide NAs in their decision making when providing anaesthesia care.
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