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Ethical Challenges for the Nurse Caring for Neurologically Impaired Patients: A Case-Based Discussion

Schwartz, Margaret MSN, APN-C, CNRN

Journal of Hospice & Palliative Nursing: April 2015 - Volume 17 - Issue 2 - p 90–95
doi: 10.1097/NJH.0000000000000142
Ethics Series

Every day, nurses face difficult clinical situations. Neurologically impaired patients can be physically challenging patients by the nature of the illness; however, these patients can present unique ethical challenges as well. Nurses caring for neurologically impaired patients may experience a high burden of moral distress. This article seeks to briefly review the development of the Western medical ethical landscape and to highlight the unique ethical conflicts of nursing neurologically impaired patients.

Margaret Schwartz, MSN, APN-C, CNRN, is advanced practice nurse, Department of Neurology, Northwestern Medicine Group, Chicago, Illinois.

Address correspondence to Margaret Schwartz, MSN, APN-C, CNRN, Department of Neurology, Northwestern Medicine Group, 675 N Saint Clair St, Suite 20-100, Chicago, IL 60611 (

Disclosures: Speakers Bureau, NovoCure.

© 2015 by The Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.