In the course of caring for a patient whose knowledge of an upcoming surgery was, to say the least, greatly lacking, Nurse Amanda Trujillo offered information and resources regarding the availability of hospice as an alternative to this risky surgery with an uncertain outcome. How could Ms. Trujillo know that her decision would spark such controversy nationwide?
Speaking with her patient, it was very clear to Ms. Trujillo that the patient was clearly demonstrating a significant knowledge deficit, and she saw it as her professional duty to provide the appropriate resources and referrals to the patient so that she could make a fully informed decision regarding a very risky surgical procedure. The patient subsequently chose to not undergo the surgery, and the physician who had planned and scheduled the surgery filed a complaint against Amanda and demanded that her license to practice be revoked.
A groundswell of support for Ms. Trujillo has arisen amidst the online nursing community, and many are advocating for Amanda by calling for the Arizona State Board of Nursing to cease and desist their actions which have deprived Amanda of her nursing license, brought her before the Board for disciplinary action, and required that she undergo a psychiatric examination. These actions are depriving Amanda and her daughter (she is a single mother) of their means of financial support, putting this small family at great risk of economic disaster.
Nurses and non-nurses alike are supporting Amanda’s rights, and our support is underscored by the clear evidence that she acted completely within her scope of practice as a nurse, following facility protocols to the letter.
It is apparent to many of us that this case is about more than Amanda Trujillo. This case is about the rights of nurses to practice without fear of retaliation based on financial interests and the unbridled power that physicians and administrators appear to wield in our culture. It is also about patient’s rights to education, informed consent, and the ethical issues brought to the fore by this important and unfortunate turn of events.
If you would like to speak out concerning this case, please contact the Arizona Board of Nursing at 602-771-7800 or email@example.com, informing them that we are watching this case closely and will not allow Amanda to be treated unfairly or unjustly.