If the Patient Doesn’t Understand the Treatment: New Essay by Theresa Brown

Ben’s inability to understand even the basics of his situation, combined with his lack of family support, made it seem that we were in effect imprisoning him and torturing him.

That’s an excerpt from the Reflections essay in the June issue of AJN. By Theresa Brown, a nurse who regularly writes for the New York Times “Well” blog, “Right Treatment, Right Patient?” explores the ethics and emotions involved in providing an unpleasant but potentially life-saving treatment to a patient who can’t understand what’s being done to him (click through to the PDF for the best version).

We hope you’ll read it through and let us know if you’ve ever faced a similar ethical quandary as a health care professional (or, for that matter, as a family member or patient).—JM, senior editor

Senior editor/social media strategy, American Journal of Nursing, and editor of AJN Off the Charts.

Comments are moderated before approval, but always welcome.

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