Family-Centered Culture Care: Touched by an Angel

Jesus A. Hernandez, The Journal of Clinical Ethics 30, no. 4 (Winter 2019): 376-83.

An Asian Indian Hindu family chose no intervention and hospice care for their newborn with hypoplastic right heart syndrome as an ethical option, and the newborn expired after five days. Professional nursing integrates values-based practice and evidence-based care with cultural humility when providing culturally responsive family-centered culture care. Each person’s worldview is unique as influenced by culture, language, and religion, among other factors. The Nursing Team sought to understand this family’s collective Indian Hindu worldview and end-of-life beliefs, values, and practices, in view of the unique aspects of the situation while the team integrated evidence-based strategies to provide family-centered culture care. Parental care choices conflicted with those of the Nursing Team, and some nurses experienced moral distress and cultural dissonance when negotiating their deeply held cultural and religious views to advocate for the family. The inability to reconcile and integrate a stressful or traumatic experience impacts nurses’ well-being and contributes to compassion fatigue. Nurses need to be intentional in accessing interventions that promote coping and healing and moral resilience. Reflection and cultural humility, assessment, and knowledge in context, increase evidence-based culture care and positive outcomes. U.S. society’s views on ethical behavior continue to evolve, and some may argue that the law should place more limits on parents’ right to choose or to refuse treatment for their infants and children. Moral distress can lead to moral resilience and satisfaction of compassion when nurses provide family-centered culture care with cultural responsiveness and integrate values-based practice with evidence-based care, and aim to first do no harm.



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