Patient Autonomy or Surrogate Decision Maker?
Post your responses to the Discussion based on the course requirements. Your Discussion postings should be written in standard edited English and follow APA guidelines as closely as possible given the constraints of the online platform. Be sure to support your work with specific citations from this module’s Learning Resources and additional scholarly sources as appropriate. Refer to the Essential Guide to APA Style for Walden Students to ensure your in-text citations and reference list are correct. Initial postings must be 250–350 words (not including references).
Note: This is a Post First assignment. You are required to post your original post before the discussion board opens for your review.
Patients’ rights in the United States include the right to informed consent, which means that patients must receive adequate information to make medical decisions. However, many questions can arise if a patient appears to lack the capacity to understand his or her medical condition or options.
As a health care administrator, it is your responsibility to educate medical staff about your facility’s policy on obtaining informed consent, reflecting state law, and how to determine whether a patient is competent. It is essential to balance the moral needs of protecting the rights of the patient with the legal and ethical obligations to breach this confidentiality in certain select situations, or determine circumstances requiring a surrogate decision maker.
Medical staff should have no difficulty in following a patient’s wishes specific to health treatment when the patient is a competent adult who can articulate his or her wishes to the medical team. However, what if the medical team is unable to determine competency? How would the team assess mental competency to understand benefits and risks of the medical treatment? If the patient is not competent, how should the medical staff proceed?
To Prepare for This Discussion:
For this Discussion, view the Prompt Video titled “Incident in the ER: Scene 1,” located in this week’s Learning Resources. Then, reflect on the delivery of health care services demonstrated in the Prompt Video regarding determining competency. Reflect on the positive and negative aspects demonstrated and consider how health care administrators should consider these aspects when engaged in practice.
Using the Kaltura Video function as instructed in the left navigation bar, videotape yourself responding to the Challenge Video. Who decides on behalf of the patient if the patient is determined to lack competency? How should a surrogate decision maker proceed on behalf of a patient? How can a healthcare administrator ensure that the patient’s autonomy is ensured and competency is established? How do the facility’s standards and regulations affect how competency is determined?