End-of-Life Case Scenarios Case 1:
You are working at an area hospital dealing primarily with end-of-life decisions and palliative care. For this discussion, you will be reviewing the PSY605 End-of-Life Case Scenarios document and making recommendations based on the information provided in the scenarios.
All end-of-life choices and medical decisions have complex psychosocial components, ramifications, and consequences that have a significant impact on suffering and the quality of living and dying. The issues involved in this process of decision making are based on issues of developmental stage, gender, race, ethnicity, culture, health, family, and physical, cognitive, and psychosocial states. For your initial post, you will apply concepts from developmental psychology to recommended courses of action for either Roger or Geri.
To begin, carefully review the PSY605 End-of-Life Case Scenarios document, select one of the cases, then recommended course of action for the scenario selected by addressing the following questions:
What is the best recommended course of action for the client at this time, and why?
What potential effects would themes such as the client’s culture, ethnicity, family, education, and gender have on the situation and recommendation(s)?
How does the client’s developmental stage factor into your recommendation?
How do the client’s physical, cognitive, and psychosocial states affect your recommendation(s)?
How might the developmental stage(s) of the client’s family member(s) affect your recommendation?
How will you present your recommendation(s) to both the patient and family member(s)?
What consideration(s) would affect your manner of presentation?
Are there considerations that cannot be processed at this time because of lack of information in the written scenario?
Next, analyze and comment on the ethical considerations related to the scenario. Note how the APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct
Case 1: Roger is a healthy 62-year-old African American male with a wife and four grown children. While out on his morning jog two weeks ago, he was hit by a drunk driver. Roger has been left paralyzed from the neck down, and he is no longer able to perform basic life-sustaining functions such as eating or breathing without the help of machines. Because he can no longer talk or use his hands to write, his communication is limited to moving his head in simple “yes” or “no” responses when asked a question. His living will was last updated 25 years ago when his youngest child was born. The will indicates that
Roger would like to receive life-saving treatments in these types of events. However, when prompted by doctors, nurses, and the hospital-appointed social worker regarding his current wishes, he seems to be communicating that he does not want to continue living in his current state.
Case 2: Geri is a 38-year-old single mother. Her son, Gabe, is 17 years old and a junior in high school. After experiencing some headaches and changes in mood over the past several weeks, Geri finally visited a neurosurgeon a week ago. During that visit, it was discovered that she has an inoperable brain tumor. Her life expectancy is 6 to 8 months. In addition to fears about her own impending death, Geri is very worried about how to best provide for and take care of her son. She cannot decide if she should continue working full-time to make sure that Gabe’s expenses are taken care of, or if it is best to take this remaining time off to enjoy with her son. Once she is gone, she does not know if she should send Gabe to live with an aunt who lives several states away for his final year of high school, or if she should allow him to live with a friend in their neighborhood and grant custody to that parent so Gabe could continue
living and going to school where he is most comfortable. She is also at a loss as to how to explain this situation to Gabe in a way that he will understand so that both of them will be able to move forward.