Post an explanation of the role of the advanced practice nurse in facilitating the discussion of end-of-life care with patients and their families. Explain how you would approach a family who wants “everything” done for a patient with only a limited time to live. Then, explain when it is appropriate to involve hospice and how to approach patients and/or families who refuse hospice services. Finally, explain potential outcomes of the patient in the case study you selected and how you would facilitate the discussion of end-of-life care with this patient’s family.
Case Study 3
Mr. Marley, age 91, is admitted to the intensive care unit following a stroke. The stroke progressed from mild hemiparesis and difficulty speaking to complete unresponsiveness and an inability to swallow. His daughter feels certain, based on prior explicit conversations with her father, that he would not want to have any treatment that would prolong his life and leave him in a severely disabled state. Mr. Marley’s oldest son disagrees with his sister’s assessment of their father. The son claims that their father still has a strong desire to live, and that he has been very active in his church until this stroke. Because Mr. Marley cannot swallow, he cannot be fed. The family is asked about insertion of a feeding tube. It is explained to the family that without food and fluids, their father will die fairly quickly. There are no existing advance directives or a designated health care decision-maker noted for Mr. Marley.