Legally, going along with what the husband wants in the face of what the living will states is reckless; it is the very purpose of such a document. Ethically, there is a bit more of a gray area. The hospital has tried to give the husband time to reconcile his feelings of grief, but it can’t afford to continue to ignore the wishes of the patient’s living will for the husband’s grief to
A doctor may have to operate even in the absence of consent, to save the life of the patient. It is possible that even with such an intervention, the patient may not survive. Assuming that the doctor is competent and has exercised due care and diligence, the doctor cannot be held responsible for a patient's death, as the doctor has acted in good faith and in the best interest of the patient. Maintaining a good Doctor patient relationship often works better than the best informed consent! The informed consent issue as discussed is very much driven not by the medical procedure or research being done or what could arise from it.
However, the debate is not straightforward as the potential for abuse or harm is prevailing society's established prohibitions against assisting suicide. Within this debate, some of society views assisted suicide as being morally wrong and believe it should not be legalized regardless of individual’s particular case. In addition, that professional standards and legislation should not be changed. Others hold the view that assisted suicide is ethically legitimate in exceptional cases. Finally within the debate, some people would advocate that assisted suicide should be a morally and legally acceptable choice in the care of terminal ill patients.
(Friedrichsen et al., 2011) Telling the truth and destroying patient’s hope is sensitive task for health professionals. However, clinicians prefer full disclosure eve if this process is painful to the patients. They consider it ethical and necessary because patients will be able to face the truth and decide how to cope with it, however, patient have rights to know or not to know. (Friedrichsen et al.,
The government is saying that physicians are role models and should be viewed as people who save lives, not people who take life away. Opponents contend that physician-assisted suicide undermines doctors’ roles in society. According to American Medical Association, “Allowing physicians to participate in assisted suicide would cause more harm than good” (Fuller). The community looks up to doctors, especially the sickly elders. They might be influenced to seek help in easing their suffering.
Physicians should consider whether further treatment will abide by these two principles, and if not, futility ensues. It is ethical for physicians to decline to provide treatment, which is judged to be medically inappropriate, either where such treatment is not in the interest of the patient, or where there are insufficient resources to provide treatment of this level of benefit. For example, treatment should be labeled futile for a young patient with severe and multiple trauma who is in coma (in absence of brain death) despite optimal therapy and no reversible causes are identifiable or a patient with end-organ dysfunction on prolonged life supportive therapies, having no improvement. The concept of medical futility is in line with social justice and is more pronounced in resource restrictive settings The following table (Table 1 ) may serve as a guide to recognize medical futility. These points should not be used in isolation, but in the context of the clinical status of the patient.
B. Informed Consent and Truth-Telling Hippocrates advocated “concealing most things from the patient while you are attending to him…revealing nothing of the patient’s future or present condition.” This attitude would undoubtedly be troublesome today. Competent adult patients have a moral and legal right not to be subjected to medical interventions without their informed and voluntary consent, but to seeking appropriate treatment for their autonomy also. Lying or withholding information from patients can seriously undermine their ability to make informed decisions about life-altering treatments. In order to give their informed consent and exercise their right of self-determination, patients must have access to all relevant information.
This is very significant in managing the care of their patients since in the event of fires or any other disasters; they cannot save every patient without risking their own lives. The Doctrine of Force Majeure protects the healthcare staff from those clients and family that will blame them for not saving their life or their patient’s life. They need to understand that they cannot save everyone in time of disasters and they will not be held liable if they can save every patient in their
Health care workers are called upon to improve and maintain the health of our patients. A society where the civil rights of patients are dependent on the religious beliefs of others is not one I would want to live in. Basic rights and equality should never yield to discrimination, especially when people’s lives depend on the services of health care professionals. Even though the refusal to treat patients is legally protected by the RFRA, we should try to minimize discrimination, prevent our self-interests from providing exceptional care, and if not possible then there should be alternative ways to offer our patients the services they need. In the end, when we chose to pursue a profession in health care, we chose to benefit all of
This begs the query, what has transpired to their commitment taken on oath to use their skills only for the benefit of their patients? The society’s anticipations of principled conduct from the medical practitioners have been unceasingly dropped by what looks to be a total disregard for the long-established trust that has existed between the patient and the doctor. A medical practitioner and a patient’s relationship is always a special one and technically privileged because it depends on the trust that the patient has in the practitioner’s professionalism. The medical practitioners must therefore have a primary responsibility that guides them to act in the best interest of their patients without an influence of personal consideration . There are a number of shortfalls of the Act in providing for the Board to curb medical malpractice and carrying out their obligations in Kenya.