Aging & Gerontology


Alzheimer's Caregiving

Body Image

Brain Disorders


Chronic Illness

Cross-Cultural Care

Death & Dying



Family Issues

Gender & Sexuality


Global Health

Grief & Recovery


Maternal & Child Health

Mental Health & Psychology



Pain Management

Sexual Abuse/Violence

Substance Abuse

Suicide/Self Injury

Women's Health

Contact Fanlight

Join Email List

Requests for
Digital Rights

Follow Us! On...

photo Everyday Choices
Ben Achtenberg & Christine Mitchell, RN, FAAN

Ethics and Decision Making in
Home Care and Community Nursing:

Through the story of one young visiting nurse and her elderly patient, this challenging documentary will help to stimulate discussion about a wide range of ethical and professional dilemmas faced by nurses working in home care and community settings. Gerardo is a charming and independent gentleman, born in Spain, who lives with his dog in public housing. He drives a car and holds down a night-shift job as a security guard. Yet his increasing dementia makes his independence a potential threat not only to himself but also to others around him.

Allison, his visiting nurse, knows that her care for him is helping him to maintain his autonomy, but is that what she should be doing? At what point should she or her agency take steps to raise questions about his competence? What are the boundaries of her professional role as a nurse? What are her responsibilities to her patient, to the patient's family, to her employer, to the public? In thinking about these issues, she involves Gerardo's physician and a consulting neuropsychologist, as well as her supervisors and the VNA's Ethics Committee. This is an engrossing exploration of some of the realities of home care work, as experienced by a skilled and compassionate professional.

Ben Achtenberg and Christine Mitchell have been producing award-winning documentaries on nursing and healthcare ethics for twenty years. Their first collaboration was on the Academy Award-nominated Code Gray: Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing. Now available on DVD!

28 minutes
© 2003
Purchase $248 DVD
Order No. QA-385
close captioned

"Takes viewers through the home healthcare world of funding cuts, medical decisions, and lifestyle choices. An affecting profile that raises serious questions, this is recommended for family education, geriatrics, and general healthcare studies collections." Video Librarian

Awards & Conference Screenings
Finalist, International Health and Medical Film Competition
American Society on Aging
Documentary Video Winner, Key West IndieFest
Certificate of Excellence, Telluride IndieFest
Merit Award, Mature Media Awards
Association for Gerontology in Higher Education
Council on Social Work Education
Association for Practical & Professional Ethics

Related Films
Psychiatric Nursing: Profiles of psychiatric nurses and the vital work they do in community mental healthcare, in home health, and in the hospital.

Caring at the End of Life — with related study films: This three-part series deals with end-of-life care and decision making in the hospital, through profiles of several severely ill patients and the staff who deal with them.

Code Gray: Academy Award nominee for Best Short Documentary. Explores four open-ended cases in which nurses confront serious ethical dilemmas in their day-to-day work.

Grave Words: Blends humor, music and insight in an entertaining primer for physicians and other healthcare providers who need to talk with patients about end-of-life decisions.

Bodies and Souls: Sister Manette, a nurse practitioner, and a white Catholic nun, runs the only health clinic in Jonestown, a largely African-American town in the heart of the Mississippi delta, where many people haven't seen a doctor more than once or twice in their lives.

Opening Doors: A portrayal of the history and great public health impact of public health nursing programs in both urban and rural communities. Not Available for Rental.


Awards & Screenings

Related Films

Study Guide

Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website