Holding the patient against their will would violate their autonomy and freedom - even where knowledge and expertise suggest that the patient should remain in hospital.
The nurse should serve as a patient’s advocate; your role is not to decide for the patient, but to provide them with all of the necessary information to guide their decision.
Patient autonomy should always be valued - even when patients make ‘unwise’ decisions.
However, you should ensure that the risks are clear.
For example, patients may wish to discharge early from the hospital setting.
This may be against the wishes of medical and nursing staff, but the patient has a right to make this decision provided they are aware of the risks and have the freedom to make a decision.
- Demonstrate an ability to weigh up evidence when serving the best interests of the patient.
The main ethical principles of nursing are intended to guide decision-making to ensure the best outcomes for patients, while respecting patient rights.
Regardless, you cannot force treatment on a patient or provide them medication covertly.
This would be unethical and can constitute an act of harm or assault, which may have severe legal and professional repercussions.