ETHICAL PROBLEMS: Feeling like a failure

May 2005 
Volume 35  Number 5
Pages 69 - 69
  PDF Version Available!

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 35(5)             May 2005             p 69 Feeling like a failure [ETHICAL PROBLEMS: RESISTING TREATMENT]


I'm a family practice nurse practitioner caring for a 67-year-old patient with advanced heart disease who's becoming noncompliant with treatment. For example, he ignores dietary and fluid restrictions and takes his medications haphazardly, if at all. He's mentally sharp and repeats all the teaching points at each clinic visit, so I'm sure he understands his regimen. He has good insurance coverage, so cost isn't an issue .

I'm frustrated because he used to be meticulous about self-care. Maybe he has a right to do as he pleases, but he's only hurting himself. How can I handle this fairly? —P.N., FLA.

You sound as though you think this patient has let you down. Health ...

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