ETHICAL PROBLEMS: (Un)helpful hands

December 2004 
Volume 34  Number 12
Pages 29 - 29
  PDF Version Available!

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 34(12)             December 2004             p 29 (Un)helpful hands [ETHICAL PROBLEMS: FAMILY DYNAMICS]


As a home health care nurse, I care for many patients discharged home after surgery. Some of them are all too happy to let their families wait on them hand and foot. Recently, one family did so much for my patient that all the progress she'd achieved in physical therapy vanished. After I spoke with them about the setback and asked them to let her do more for herself, they called my manager and described me as the “most uncaring nurse” they'd ever met. Now what ?—C.H., ARK.

Like many ethical problems, this one involves several issues. To sort them out, let's start with one simple fact: Most family members sincerely want to help. Overdoing it may reflect their own feelings of ...

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