Nursing: Informed Consent Ethical Case Study?

You are caring for Thomas, a 56 year-old developmentally challenged man who has lived alone for many years, supporting himself as a janitor for a local church. His physician has diagnosed him with cancer and wants to enroll him in an experimental protocol that he believes would be effective. Thomas says he wants to try this new treatment. He signed the informed consent form when he was admitted to hospital, but when you reviewed the form with him he couldn't explain what it meant. What are your ethical obligations in this situation? What would you do?

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  • . .
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Is the 'developmentally challenged' refers to mental or physical? If mental, then the contract/consent by law is considered void without a cosigner. If it were to go to court, the court would automatically void is based on the disability and his inability to understand it. As a health care professional, it's the duty now becomes to inform next of kin/guardian of this person and go from there.

  • 1 decade ago

    Before you sign any sort of paper you need to read the fine print, and understand fully what is being said on the piece of paper. If you are not sure of what is being asked, you need to ask for details. Doctors and other parties should NOT be taking advantage of someone who is disabled in order to meet their expectations. They would explain to someone who is not disabled the details about a project or an experiment, so therefore they should explain fully to someone who is in the case of this gentleman.

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