Beth is 86 years old and resides in a nursing home. She is alert and has no signs of dementia. Unfortunately she is very unsteady on her feet and has a history of falls. The nurses are becoming increasingly concerned that she may injure herself seriously one day and it is highly likely that if she falls she may break her hip and may never walk again. They have spent a lot of time explaining this to Beth and she says she is aware of the dangers. The nurses have been asking Beth to call for help when she wants to walk, but she has not been doing this as she likes to be independent. They have also organised a walking frame for her which she is refusing to use, even though she is capable of using it properly and the nurses have explained the benefits. They have also included her family in the discussions to try and persuade her to use the walking frame and call for assistance but Beth is adamant that she wants her freedom. They have now suggested to Beth that when she sits down she wears a belt which is tied to her chair. The nurses hope this will remind her not to get up without asking some-one to walk with her and will also prevent her from getting up unaided. Beth objects. She is unwilling to give up her ability to move about the nursing home as she chooses. In desperation a nurse tells Beth that she must use the belt as it is a new rule of the nursing home (this is not the case). Beth reluctantly agrees to wear the belt because she is scared of the consequences of breaking the rules at the nursing home. The nurses are all very relieved that Beth is now using the belt.
- Discuss what ethical principles are involved in this case study. Provide appropriate definitions with direct reference back to the case study
- Discuss the ethical principles that are in conflict
- Discuss what legal concepts are involved in this case study. Provide appropriate definitions with direct reference to the case study
- Discuss the actions of the nurses and discuss whether they are legally and ethically justified