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Clinical Dilemmas are a new series of clinical reasoning case studies that emphasize the “art” of nursing. Each study has an emphasis that integrates aspects of caring, spiritual care, nurse engagement/presence, and ethical decision making and its relevance to nursing practice.
These case studies can be used in the classroom as an active learning tool to develop the ethical comportment of nurses as well as in post-conference in the clinical setting. Students will also develop clinical reasoning as they identify relevant clinical data, determine the nursing priority and resultant nursing interventions.
Overview of Dilemma
When a patient has a stroke, is intubated, and unable to wean off the ventilator, what can be done to ensure the patient’s autonomy when there is no living will and no family that can be contacted to guide this decision-making process of a vulnerable adult?