Care Delivery and Treatment Decision Making: Bioethical and Nursing Considerations During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic

Clin J Oncol Nurs. 2021 Feb 1;25(1):61-68. doi: 10.1188/21.CJON.61-68.


Background: The disruption in the supply chain of resources and interruptions in cancer treatments caused by the pandemic presented tremendous challenges to the healthcare system.

Objectives: This article describes the National Academy of Medicine-defined states of medical and nursing care delivery for which local plans should be drawn and the shifting and evolving systems framework that can guide decisions to optimize the crisis standards of care.

Methods: A case study is presented to describe the process of shifting the state of medical and nursing care delivery and bioethical nursing considerations during the pandemic and beyond.

Findings: An evolving and shifting systems framework for crises rooted in deontology, principlism, and the ethics of care model provide meaningful guidance for establishing priorities for patient care.

Keywords: COVID-19; care delivery; coronavirus; pandemic; treatment decision making.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • COVID-19 / nursing*
  • Decision Making / ethics*
  • Delivery of Health Care / ethics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / nursing*
  • Oncology Nursing / ethics*
  • Oncology Nursing / standards*
  • Pandemics / ethics*
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • SARS-CoV-2