The aim of this study was to explore and describe how Flemish nurses experience their involvement in the care of hospitalized patients with dementia, particularly in relation to artificial nutrition or hydration (ANH). We interviewed 21 hospital nurses who were carefully selected from nine hospitals in different regions of Flanders. ‘Being touched by the vulnerability of the demented patient’ was the central experience of the nurses, having great impact on them professionally as well as personally. This feeling can be described (...) as encompassing the various stages of the care process: the nurses' initial meeting with the vulnerable patient; the intense decision-making process, during which the nurses experienced several intense emotions influenced by supporting or hindering contextual factors; and the final coping process, a time when nurses came to terms with this challenging experience. From our examination of this care process, it is obvious that nurses' involvement in ANH decision-making processes that concern patients with dementia is a difficult and ethically sensitive experience. On the one hand, the feeling of ‘being touched’ can imply strength, as it demonstrates that nurses are willing to provide good care. On the other hand, the feeling of ‘being touched’ can also imply weakness, as it makes nurses vulnerable to moral distress stemming from contextual influences. Therefore, nurses have to be supported as they carry out this ethically sensitive assignment. Practical implications are given. (shrink)
In this study of the _Wenzi_, Paul van Els analyzes a controversial Chinese philosophical text, shedding light on text production and reception in Chinese history, with its changing views on authorship, originality, authenticity, and forgery, both past and present.
Over 90% of the organs transplanted in China before 2010 were procured from prisoners. Although Chinese officials announced in December 2014 that the country would completely cease using organs harvested from prisoners, no regulatory adjustments or changes in China’s organ donation laws followed. As a result, the use of prisoner organs remains legal in China if consent is obtained. We have collected and analysed available evidence on human rights violations in the organ procurement practice in China. We demonstrate that the (...) practice not only violates international ethics standards, it is also associated with a large scale neglect of fundamental human rights. This includes organ procurement without consent from prisoners or their families as well as procurement of organs from incompletely executed, still-living prisoners. The human rights critique of these practices will also address the specific situatedness of prisoners, often conditioned and traumatized by a cascade of human rights abuses in judicial structures. To end the unethical practice and the abuse associated with it, we suggest to inextricably bind the use of human organs procured in the Chinese transplant system to enacting Chinese legislation prohibiting the use of organs from executed prisoners and making explicit rules for law enforcement. Other than that, the international community must cease to abet the continuation of the present system by demanding an authoritative ban on the use of organs from executed Chinese prisoners. (shrink)
BackgroundIn December 2014, China announced that only voluntarily donated organs from citizens would be used for transplantation after January 1, 2015. Many medical professionals worldwide believe that China has stopped using organs from death-row prisoners.DiscussionIn the present article, we briefly review the historical development of organ procurement from death-row prisoners in China and comprehensively analyze the social-political background and the legal basis of the announcement. The announcement was not accompanied by any change in organ sourcing legislations or regulations. As a (...) fact, the use of prisoner organs remains legal in China. Even after January 2015, key Chinese transplant officials have repeatedly stated that death-row prisoners have the same right as regular citizens to “voluntarily donate” organs. This perpetuates an unethical organ procurement system in ongoing violation of international standards.ConclusionsOrgan sourcing from death-row prisoners has not stopped in China. The 2014 announcement refers to the intention to stop the use of organs illegally harvested without the consent of the prisoners. Prisoner organs procured with “consent” are now simply labelled as “voluntarily donations from citizens”. The semantic switch may whitewash sourcing from both death-row prisoners and prisoners of conscience. China can gain credibility only by enacting new legislation prohibiting use of prisoner organs and by making its organ sourcing system open to international inspections. Until international ethical standards are transparently met, sanctions should remain. (shrink)
Objective: Although nurses have an important role in the care process surrounding artificial food or fluid administration in patients with dementia or in terminally ill patients, little is known about their attitudes towards this issue. The purpose of this study was to thoroughly examine nurses’ attitudes by means of a literature review.Method: An extensive systematic search of the electronic databases PubMed, Cinahl, PsycINFO, The Cochrane Library, FRANCIS, Philosopher’s Index and Social Sciences Citation Index was conducted to identify pertinent articles published (...) from January 1990 to January 2007.Findings: Nurses’ arguments for or against could be categorised as ethical-legal, clinical or social-professional. The most important arguments explicitly for artificial food and fluid administration in patients with dementia or in terminally ill patients were sanctity of life, considering artificial food and fluid administration as basic nursing care, and giving reliable nutrition, hydration or medication. An explicit counter-argument was the high cost of treatment. Arguments used by opponents and proponents were quality of life and dignified death. The arguments were not strikingly different for the two patient populations. It turned out that the nurses’ ethical arguments remarkably reflected the current ethical debate. But some of their clinical presuppositions contradicted current clinical evidence.Conclusion: The interaction between clinical facts and ethical reflections makes the findings of this review extremely relevant for clinical ethics. A large need exists to clearly communicate to nurses the latest clinical evidence and the main results of ongoing ethical debates. (shrink)
This article is written in the style and method of an autoethnography that focuses on the author's spiritual journey with God while living with chronic pain. The labyrinth is used as a metaphor and spiritual tool to describe this journey. The author's personal experience with religion and spirituality is described as well as the choice of moving from thinking about God being 'out there', far away and looking upon God's creation to discovering God within - God 'right here'. The affects (...) and effects of living with chronic pain are discussed in reference to the process of walking the circuits of a labyrinth. The role of different people who played a part in this journey is highlighted. This way of writing corresponds with a narrative way of living which concentrates on deconstruction of dominant discourses and looking for outcomes that may lead to hope and transformation. The difference between rainbow hope and reasonable hope is explained and the consequence of choosing reasonable hope is discussed. Transformation of the person through the journey becomes apparent in the article. (shrink)