Complete the DNR interactive case study following the readings and presentations for this week. Associate what you have learned in your weekly materials with what was presented in the case study. After you complete the case study, reflect upon what you have learned from the case study and related learning materials this week. Compare this case study to your nursing practice and give a similar example from your nursing experience in which you might have run into an ethical situation.


This assignment requires us to complete an interactive case study on Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders. The case study serves as a practical application of the knowledge gained from the weekly materials and presentations. It aims to enhance our understanding of ethical decision-making and its implications in nursing practice. In this analysis, I will summarize the key points from the case study and draw connections to the concepts discussed in the learning materials.

Summary of the Case Study

The case study revolves around a fictional patient named Mr. Johnson, a 70-year-old man with a terminal illness who has expressed his wish to have a DNR order in place. However, his family members are divided on the issue, with some supporting his decision and others vehemently opposing it. The case study depicts the challenges faced by the healthcare team in navigating this ethical dilemma and providing patient-centered care.

The healthcare team in this case study consists of the primary care physician, the nurse, the social worker, and the hospital chaplain. Each member of the team brings their own perspective and expertise to the decision-making process. The team engages in thorough discussions and considers factors such as the patient’s autonomy, family dynamics, cultural beliefs, and legal considerations.

Throughout the case study, the healthcare team demonstrates the importance of effective communication and collaboration in addressing ethical dilemmas. They engage in open dialogue, actively listen to one another, and strive to find a resolution that respects the patient’s autonomy while also considering the best interests of the patient and their family.

Key Takeaways from the Case Study

The case study highlights several important concepts related to ethical decision-making in nursing practice. Firstly, it emphasizes the significance of honoring patient autonomy. Mr. Johnson’s explicit expression of his desire for a DNR order reflects his autonomy and should be respected. The healthcare team acknowledges this and ensures that his wishes are taken into account in the decision-making process.

Secondly, the case study underscores the importance of collaboration and interdisciplinary teamwork. The diverse perspectives and expertise of the healthcare team members contribute to a comprehensive and holistic approach to ethical decision-making. Through effective communication and respectful dialogue, the team is able to navigate the complexity of the situation and reach a consensus that aligns with the patient’s wishes.

Furthermore, the case study brings attention to the ethical principle of beneficence. The healthcare team must consider not only the patient’s autonomy but also their well-being and quality of life. They must weigh the potential benefits and harms of resuscitative measures and ensure that the patient’s best interests are safeguarded.

Another key point highlighted in the case study is the role of cultural and ethical beliefs. Mr. Johnson’s family members have differing opinions based on their respective cultural backgrounds and personal values. The healthcare team must be sensitive to these diverse perspectives and engage in culturally competent care. Respecting and understanding cultural beliefs is essential in providing patient-centered care and addressing ethical dilemmas.

Connections to Learning Materials

The case study draws upon the concepts discussed in the weekly materials and presentations. It reinforces the importance of ethical decision-making frameworks, such as the four principles approach or the nursing code of ethics. These frameworks provide a systematic and structured approach to resolving ethical dilemmas in nursing practice.

Additionally, the case study enhances our understanding of the ethical principles of autonomy, beneficence, and cultural competence. It illustrates how these principles can be applied in real-life situations, highlighting their practical relevance in nursing practice.

Comparison to Nursing Practice

In my nursing experience, I encountered a similar ethical situation involving a DNR order. I had a patient who was diagnosed with end-stage cancer and expressed their wish to forgo resuscitative measures. However, their family members were divided on the issue, with some advocating for aggressive interventions and others supporting the patient’s decision.

In this scenario, I utilized the knowledge and skills acquired through my education and training to facilitate open communication and collaboration among the healthcare team and the patient’s family. We engaged in extensive discussions, providing education about the patient’s prognosis and the potential consequences of resuscitative measures. Ultimately, we were able to reach a consensus that respected the patient’s autonomy while also considering their well-being.


Completing the DNR interactive case study has provided valuable insights into the complexities of ethical decision-making in nursing practice. The case study reinforces the importance of patient autonomy, interdisciplinary collaboration, and cultural competence. By applying the concepts and principles discussed in the learning materials, healthcare professionals can navigate ethical dilemmas and provide patient-centered care. Reflecting on personal nursing experiences allows for a deeper understanding of how these concepts play out in real-life situations and enhances professional growth and ethical practice.