Ethical and Spiritual Decision Making in Health Care Discussion

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Respond with a  Comment to each discussion question below add citations and references:

Discussion one: According to defining death (n.d) death is that moment at which the body’s physiological system ceases to constitute an integrated whole. Even if life continues in individual cells or organs, life of the organism as a whole requires complex integration, and without it, a person cannot properly be regarded as alive. This is a very emotional, sensitive, and challenging part of the job as a nurse, to witness a patient expire. The very first time I witnessed a patient expire, I remember crying profusely and asking myself is this really what I want to do? Working in Geriatric unit, seeing very sick elderly patients and patients with terminal health conditions die due to the disease, pain after extreme and futile treatment to prolong their lives is heartbroken. The grief of the family members and friends is almost unbearable. I would go home, take time off work for couple of days with several thoughts racing through my mind, if there was something different I could have done to prevent death from occurring. But then the support from colleagues and supervisors resonated with me and made me feel I wasn’t alone. However when you remember the difference you have made in every patient’s life, even if the outcome was not what you had hoped and prayed for, knowing you had a positive impact on that patient and their family through your care and compassion. It brings peace and encouragement to get up the next day and render that quality care all over again.

I make it a point of duty to pray for the patient, family, and coworkers,  and hold on to my faith that there is something greater. Just as the bible records that death is an enemy, and refers to it as the last enemy that shall be destroyed (1 corinthians 15:26 NKJ).


The Holy Bible. Retrieved from 1 Cor 15:26 New King James Version


Discussion two: I deal with death pretty regularly at work, as I work on the ambulance as an EMT. I would say that I am pretty desensitized when it comes to death, as it is the nature of my job to deal with death in high stress situations. There have been a couple of deaths of patients that I have had that have impacted me emotionally, but I feel that as long as I have done all that I can, it is not something to dwell on. If I had to think about every patient I had that was battling death, I would not do well, as that is a majority of what I deal with.

The deaths of the younger people are definitely more difficult to handle than the ones of older people, because they are usually not related to a medical problem. They are more unexpected, such as a motor vehicle collision, suicide, or overdose.

The difficult part of death is the living. When it comes to a death, various families behave differently. Some families get angry, some get sad. Some families can accept the loss, while others cannot. According to Healgrief (2018), “grief is personal and individual, and every person experiences its nuances differently” (para. 1).

The interesting thing is that we all experience the death of a loved one in typically the same stages, however we may experience these stages in different ways. Axelrod (2019) states that “the stages of grief and mourning are universal and are experienced by people from all walks of life, across many cultures” (para. 2). The five stages include denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Family members may also experience these stages in a different order, which may explain why some family members become angry while I am caring for their lost loved one.


Axelrod, J. (2019). The 5 stages of grief and loss. Retrieved from…

Healgrief. (2018). Understanding grief and loss: An overview. Retrieved from


Discussion three: In my work I engage with or witness death often because I work at nursing home. I have worked for over 20 years in Geriatric population. Over the years I seen how death is handled clinical and emotionally from family and nursing home staff. Just last week I walked into a room and patient had expired in front of me that was on Hospice. Do not resuscitate and Hospice is widely used to help with part of discussion at time of admission or change in condition. Everyone fears dead. It is not easy subject. Being that I had to not only to deal with death at work, I had to in my personal life when my husband was diagnosis and passed away do to complication of ALS. I have not ever had difficulty with care for patient that was at end of life which I believe prepared me for when I had to care for my husband. Nurses who see death daily find themselves becoming gradually drained of life and hope (Shelly, 2009).After I had lost my husband and gotten my RN I considered applying for Hospice Nurse, but I am still have this overwhelming sadness that I don’t think would work in that position dealing with it every day. I find myself when someone young is dying I ask why and I never asked why or was not in denial but was angry and depressed when caring for my husband. You have the right to grieve, and no one — including yourself — can tell you when it’s time to end that process (Healgrief, 2018).I do believe I am still processing.

References: (2018). Understanding Grief. Retrieved from

Shelly, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (2009). Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press

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