6.7 Learning Activities

Learning Activities

(Answers to “Learning Activities” can be found in the “Answer Key” at the end of the book.  Answers to interactive activities are provided as immediate feedback.)

Ethical Application & Reflection Activity

Case A

Filmmaker Lulu Wang first shared a story about her grandmother on This American Life podcast and later turned it into the 2019 movie The Farewell starring Awkwafina. Both share the challenges of a Chinese-born but U.S.-raised woman returning to China and a family who has chosen to not disclose that the grandmother has been given a Stage IV lung cancer diagnosis and three months to live. Listen to the podcast and then answer the following questions:

585: In Defense of Ignorance Act One: What You Don’t Know

1. Reflect on the similarities and differences of your family culture with that of the Billi family. Consider things such as what family gatherings, formal and informal, look like and spoken and unspoken rules related to communication and behavior.

2. The idea of “good” lies and “bad” lies is introduced in the podcast. Nai Nai’s family supports the decision to not tell her about her Stage IV lung cancer, stage a wedding as the excuse to visit and say their goodbyes, and even alter a medical report as good lies necessary to support her mental health, well-being, and happiness. Is the family applying deontological or utilitarian ethics to the situation? Defend your response.

3. Define the following ethical principles and identify examples from this story:

  • Autonomy
  • Beneficence
  • Nonmaleficence
  • Paternalism

4. Imagine this story is happening in the United States rather than China and you are the nurse admitting Nai Nai to an inpatient oncology unit. Using the ethical problem-solving model of your choice, identify and support your solution to the ethical dilemma posed when her family requests that Nai Nai not be told that she has cancer.

Ethical Application & Reflection Activity

Case B

You are caring for a 32-year-old client who has been in a persistent vegetative state for many years. There is an outdated advanced directive that is confusing on the issue of food and fluids, though clear about not wanting to be on a ventilator if she were in a coma. Her husband wants the feeding tube removed but is unable to say that it would have been the client’s wish. He says that it is his decision for her. Her two adult siblings and parents reject this as a possibility because they say that “human life is sacred” and that the daughter believed this. They say their daughter is alive and should receive nursing care, including feeding. The health care team does not know what to do ethically and fear being sued by either the husband, siblings, or the parents. What do you need to know about this clinical situation? What are the values and obligations at stake in this case? What values or obligations should be affirmed and why? How might that be done?

1. Define the problem.

2. List what facts/information you have.

3. What are the stakeholders’ positions?

  • Patient:
  • Spouse:
  • Family:
  • Health Care Team:
  • Facility:
  • Community:

4. How might the stakeholders’ values differ?

5. What are your values in this situation?

6. Do your values conflict with those of the patient? Describe.


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