There have been many interesting controversies about the nursing practice in United States since it was formally introduced and recognized as a profession in the late nineteenth century. Majority of the issues were humanistic in approach tackling about the actual institution of medical ethics. However, there have been a growing number of legal concerns that were entertained too. In fact, the Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession has published a recent legal matter involving a patient who died due to the negligence of the stationed nurse. The autopsy conducted showed “aspiration of food as the cause of the cardiopulmonary arrest that killed the patient” (Snyder, 2010). Tracing back the facts of the case, the patient was actually suffering from a swallowing disorder termed as dysphagia. At a particular time, a nursing aide came to his room and left a sandwich on his tray table and then went away. The patient ate the sandwich without supervision which was cited as the main reason of his choking resulting to his death. The heirs of the deceased sued the hospital who gained a favorable decision from the Appellate Court of Illinois in November of 2009. The said honorable court declared the stationed nurse negligent and required the hospital to pay the family of the deceased in the amount of five hundred thousand dollars. In addition, the appellate court affirmed that “before a nurse may delegate any care task to an aide, it is the nurse’s responsibility to determine that the task is appropriate for performance by an aide and by the particular aide selected to perform it” (as cited in Snyder, 2010). Hence, “violation of the standard of care for a care-giving task by a non-licensed aide is also a violation of the standard of care by the professional nurse responsible for supervising the aide” (Snyder, 2010).
In this regard, it can be stated that nurses just like the other professionals in the society are obliged to serve