ETHICAL PROBLEMS: Lashing out in anger
SUSAN A. SALLADAY RN, PHD

$3.95
Nursing2014
November 2004 
Volume 34  Number 11
Pages 66 - 66
 
  PDF Version Available!

ABSTRACT
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    I'm caring for a young man who's just been diagnosed with a highly metastatic cancer. He knows he's not likely to live more than 6 months. Having consented to aggressive treatment, he's turned pretty aggressive himself. His language is peppered with four-letter words and obscene gestures, and he's even taken swings at caregivers .

    Most of the nurses avoid him, so he's alone most of the time. I think that's unethical, but I can understand their hesitation to get involved with him. What's the right way to handle this? —T.M., ONTARIO

    Start with the nature of your patient's disease. His aggressive behavior could stem from metastasis to the brain. Request a neurologic and psychiatric evaluation. Even if brain metastasis is ruled out, keep that possibility in mind as you plan his care.

    Figure. No caption available. You say your patient is “alone” most of the ...

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