Controversial Medical Treatments

Posted by in Ethics, Pain, Patient Health

There is more than one way to skin a cat so the saying goes. This cliche also applies to medicine; multiple treatments can provide the same outcome. One of the most controversial subjects at this point in time is legalization of medical marijuana. There is as much information about the health effects of marijuana as there is water in the ocean. Besides all of the animal testing, and endless statistics, one thing that remains true of medicinal marijuana is that it is an effective treatment in select patients. I am not an advocate for marijuana use nor am I an anti-drug lobbyist. I do believe in results, and if a treatment is working for a patient why should we deprive them of this. New evolving treatments have inherent risks, not enough research has been done, not enough cases studied, I could go on and on about the shortcomings of these procedures. Rather than leave medical decisions in the hands of politicians, as nurses we can do our best to monitor the effects of the controversial treatments when given the opportunities to administer them. At the end of the day I want what is best for my patients, if that requires a controversial treatment than so be it. There is a lot of noise and differing opinions circulating these treatments, but as nurses one of our best skills is our ability to observe, report, and react. Carefully delivering controversial procedures and maintaining a sense of rationale can help bring forth the information required to make educated decisions on the effects of controversial treatments. As with any community staying current with the evolving medical industry and constantly gaining field experience can put nurses in the position to be the primary decision makers regarding the application of controversial medical treatments.