Family Values and Moral Distress in Nursing Practice

Nurses are often presented with complicated cases and decisions they must make immediately. Their responsibilities include the duty to keep other people out of rooms where their relatives stay in the PACU. The following discussion will reflect my opinion and possible actions in the situation with the dying woman.


To begin with, it is essential to mention that there were some alternatives to choose from:

  • Leaving the patient with her lover
  • Letting the patient’s family in the room
  • Prohibiting every visitor from entering the room.

As a concise and competent nurse, I would give the patient’s family the right to see her during the last minutes of her life. The lover did not have any rights to enter the room. Moreover, the patient’s family members did not want her to be present at the hospital and would not allow her to attend the funeral. Therefore, the person who lied at first must be asked to leave the hospital. Such ethical principles as following professional rules and giving my preference to people who are legally related to the patient most affected my decision making (Grace, 2018).


The discussed situation could not cause me “moral distress” if I happened to be the nurse in the PACU that day as my task would be to follow the rules of the hospital. It is essential to adhere to the written instructions when it comes to such cases as I could regret my decisions later. In contrast, the rules decided everything for me. Although I violated the regulations by letting the lover in, I would immediately ask the woman to leave the place once I found out who she was.


Grace, P. J. (2018). Nursing ethics and professional responsibility in advanced practice (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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