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Case study : Don’t Touch My Things! Mrs. Smyth and Autonomy

Case 3: Don’t Touch My Things! Mrs. Smyth and Autonomy

Mrs. Smyth, 78, had lived in the same home for 30 years. Never married, she cared for her disabled mother for 15 years. After her mother died, she lived alone on a small pension. She appeared to be well groomed and appropriately dressed when she left her house.

Mrs. Smyth was hospitalized for a bowel obstruction and Joe, a community health nurse, made a follow-up visit after discharge to her home. When Joe arrived at the house, he was overcome with the smell of rotting garbage, urine, and feces. Five small dogs ran back and forth among piles of garbage and magazines, overturned furniture, and discarded appliances. There was no running water and the bathroom was not functional. Joe told Mrs. Smyth that her living conditions were unhealthy and that he would contact a community agency to help her clean her house. Mrs. Smyth became very angry and said no one had the right to take her things away.

•Is it ethical for Joe to overrule Mrs. Smyth’s autonomy in decision-making?

•What action is in Mrs. Smyth’s best interests?

•What action is in the community’s best interests?

•What ethical issues are involved in caring for a client with a hoarding disorder, such as that seen in Mrs.

Smyth’s disorder?

the answers must be in your own words Do not copy-paste or use past students’ work as all files submitted in this course are registered and saved in turn it in the program.

Answers must be scholarly and be 3-4 sentences in length with rationale and explanation. No Straight forward / Simple answer will be accepted.

Turn it in Score must be less than 25 % or will not be accepted for credit, must be your own work and in your own words. You can resubmit, Final submission will be accepted if less than 25 %. Copy paste from websites or textbooks will not be accepted or tolerated


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