As an advanced practice nurse, my response to a patient who asks about using fetal tissue implants for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease would be to provide them with unbiased information on the topic. I would explain that fetal tissue implants involve the transplantation of fetal brain tissue into the brains of people with Parkinson’s disease, with the aim of replacing damaged nerve cells that produce dopamine.
They should also be informed that the treatment is considered an experimental option, and that it has limited availability. Its risks and benefits need to carefully weighed. They should discuss the option with their doctor to see if this is the right choice for them.
As a health care provider, I should be able to provide my patients with the best possible treatment regardless of my own personal views. It is my primary duty to give unbiased care, based on evidence and unbiased to every patient regardless of treatment choice.
If, however, my own beliefs are in conflict with this option of treatment, I must employ strategies that will allow me to give the best possible service to my patients, while still remaining loyal to my values. This could involve asking colleagues for their advice, giving patients information that matches their beliefs, or referring the patient to another healthcare provider who is more comfortable.
Even if fetal-tissue implants did not concern me, I could offer my guidance to another colleague facing a similar dilemma. This would include providing information about the issue and discussing how to give unbiased treatment to patients. To help navigate this ethical and professional issue, I’d encourage my peers to reach out to their colleagues for support and to use resources.