From the above case it is clear that the police detective was trying to infringe on the unconscious patient’s autonomy and right to informed consent. In discussing this assignment I will like to analyse the right to patient’s autonomy and the right to informed consent.
The respect of a person autonomy in any medical or nursing care is a main concern of the 21th century medical care provision (ref). It is seen from the legal, ethical and professional point of view as a core responsibility of today’s health care practitioner.
There are various definitions of autonomy, for example, Scherne (2002) explained autonomy as a term used to refer to the merit of self-determination which basically is a due non-interference. Similarly, Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) (2013 p5) in Ireland suggests that “autonomy applies to being human and worthy of respect”. In analysis it can be explained as the ability of a person introduction on how his or her life is to be lived on an everyday basis. Giving credence to his/ her principles, mind-set and choice for any care given or procedures done on him or her. This is regardless of the care being done at home or in acute hospital or any care providing facility. Furthermore, HAIQ (2013) describes autonomy as implying to the person’s receiving care support or treatment to make informed decisions on how he or she is to be cared for. Based on these definitions, autonomy is the sole right of an individual to give a go ahead to any care, treatment or investigation that is carried out on that individual. Furthermore, words it is an act of a person to have control over the way their life is lived.
The ethical rational of autonomy is that individuals have control over decision made on them and how care given to them is carried out. It is clear from the case that the patient was unconscious and his autonomy needs to be respected even though he remained unconscious. This is because his blood is an essential part of him. Consequently, it was expected that the police detective should respect this. It was not even clear in this case, if the police detective was actually carrying out a civil order or acting on his own initiative because he couldn’t produce a warrant.
Jaff Payne was actually trying to breech the Irish constructional law of Bodily Integrity which says “you have a right not have your body or person interfered with”(ref). It is however expected that a detective should be conversant with the Irish law. In addition, Sawicki (2017) states that an individual’s decision can be said to be autonomous only when proper and adequate information about the care or investigation to be carried out has been made know to the patient. It is clear from the case that no pre-information or explanation was made to the unconscious patient.
Another area to be analysed I this case is the breach of informed consent of the patient. In analysing informed consent in this case, there was no consent by the patient for the examination to be done. Informed consent is an integral part of the 21th century health care necessity (ref). It is an important obligation by care givers and a basic right of the patient/client before treatment or any procedure is done on individuals. So many writers has worked on it for Instance HIQA (2013 p7) defined informed consent as “consent is the giving of permission or agreement for an intervention, receipt or use of a service or participation in research, following a process of communication in which a person using a service has received enough information to enable him or her to understand the nature, potential risk and benefits of the proposed intervention or service”. Similarly, Beaudhamp and childrees (2001) explained getting informed consent from a patient as right and ethical before a patient is being treated. In addition, caring or treating a patient/client without authorization can however be seen as battery or violation under civil and criminal law, Beaudhamp and Childrees (2001), irrespective of if the person was helped by the action. It can be deducted from these definitions that informed consent is a basic principle that should be followed when dealing with a patient.
The senior nurse was well grounded and put into practice this essential principle that is why she stood her ground despite the violence and treatment melted on her for safe guarding her patient.
In the same vain, Aveyard (2001) stated that although patients give constructive authorization when being admitted to the hospital, they still have the right to refuse treatment at any time while on admission. Knowing that the standard of patients’ authorization in nursing is very important, giving care to patients who refuse or is uninformed is a breach of autonomy. In contrast it is argued that the work of a nurse is reduced and relived in that particular area of care when a patient refuses care, even if it involves saving life (Aveyard, 2001). To carry on after the patient refusal is against the law of the principle of authorization and establishes unlawful touching.
The senior nurse, Alex Wubbles played a positive paterlistic role on the unconscious patient (ref). Consequently, the detective Jaff Payne who went as far as snapping her hand behind her, also assaulted the nurse which in Irish constitution is seen as a breach of her human right (ref).
In the area of nurses improved ethical practices, Scott (2015), stated that the chief nurses in Ireland health departments piloted initiatives of code and values, to show how healthcare professionals together describe a good practice of nursing. These expression of nursing practice are strongly embedded in right principles and an interpretation that shows the basic fundamental nursing ethical procedure.
These ethical standards are presumed to be passed down and learnt by other junior nursing professionals that is the reason Alex Wubbles, the head nurse on duty knew that the autonomy and informed consent right of the unconscious patient is to be respected hence refused detective Jeff Payne from drawing the patient blood for investigation. This act by the nurse is supported by Scott (2015), who wrote that care giving is only ethical important aspect used to describe the practice of nursing.