Clarification and Mitigation of Ethical Problems Surrounding Withdrawal of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

Author(s): Susan B. Williams, BSN, RNC-NIC, Michael D. Dahnke, PhD

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP B 1.00

Expires Oct 01, 2019

Topics: Ethics, Multisystem

Level: Proficient

Population: Adult

Role: APRN, Staff

Fees
Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

Added to Collection

Activity Summary

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is temporary life-support technology that provides time to rest the cardiac and respiratory system of critically ill people with acute, reversible medical conditions. Health care providers face emotional and challenging situations, where death may result, when withdrawing ECMO. A deepening of understanding of the ethical issues involved can aid clinicians in handling such difficult situations, leading to a possible mitigation of the moral problems. Toward this end, the ethical issues raised in the consideration of ECMO withdrawal are analyzed with respect to the ethical principles and concepts of autonomy, nonmaleficence/beneficence, medical futility, moral distress, and justice. In particular, these issues are considered in relation to how they affect and can be addressed by staff nurses and advanced practice nurses in the intensive care unit. Advanced practice nurses in particular can represent the voice of nurses to promote a healthier workplace in situations of moral distress related to stopping ECMO life-support technology and in developing clear and consistent guidelines for ceasing ECMO treatment, all leading toward clarification and mitigation of the ethical problems surrounding the withdrawal of this critical technology.

Objectives

  • To identify and analyze the ethical conflicts that arise with the utilization of Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), particularly conflicts involved in withdrawal of this technology.
  • To explore the nurse’s role in dealing with ethical conflicts regarding withdrawal of ECMO.
  • To offer suggestions for change in order to mitigate ethical conflicts of ECMO withdrawal.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.

Disclosure

This activity has been reviewed by the Nurse Planner. It has been determined that the material presented here shows no bias. Approval of a continuing education activity does not imply endorsement by AACN or ANCC of any commercial products displayed or discussed in conjunction with the activity.

Accreditation

The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC's) Commission on Accreditation, ANCC Provider Number 0012 (60 min contact hour). AACN has been approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by the California State Board of Registered Nursing, California Provider number CEP1036 contact hours (50 min contact hour).

AACN programming meets the standards for most states that require mandatory continuing education contact hours for license and/or certification renewal. AACN recommends consulting with your state board of nursing or credentialing organization before submitting CE to fulfill continuing education requirements.