Discuss The Ethical Issues Related To Decision Making For An Incompetent Patient

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In this reading, the ethical issue is related to decision making for an incompetent patient. Here is some background information about the case: Robert became incompetent after a car accident in 1993. His physical and mental functions were permanently disabled. The right side of his body was paralyzed so he couldn’t carry out any activity in daily life even swallowing. Also, he couldn’t recognize his wife and children and he couldn’t communicate clearly or with meanings. It is clear that Robert could never make any medical decision for himself. Robert had a wife (Rose) and three children, they were considered as Robert’s closest family members and they were people who could give the most comfort, care and best interests to him. In 1995, his …show more content…

He thinks the court was incorrect to disqualify Robert’s wife as his surrogate, and the evidence required to prove his wishes was unreasonable. Because the incompetent patient has to express his own wishes exactly to his family members in order to be able as a clear and convincing evidence. Also, the court insists the expression of his wishes must include precisely description of his present medical condition and the court provide no guidance about best interests for patient in this particular situation. The court eventually said Rose had no evidence to prove her subjective opinion that Robert has poor quality of life, would not want to live rely on medical treatment and wishes to die. The stance of author and Rose has further support by two medical experts. After they examine Robert, they found that he only feels upset, pain, irritability, torment and aggressive towards others. The decision of the court looks like Robert needs legal protection from a killing decision by a stranger(his wife). But actually, closest family members were assuming to be who give the most comfort, care and best interests to him and who to decide whether continue or stop treatment for that patient. The connection between these two views is the importance of a durable power of attorney for health care(DPAHC). Both sides agree DPAHC can let the patient appoints a person act as his / her surrogate and makes medical decision …show more content…

Children that aged below 18 are not able to make medical decision by their own in most circumstances. (In reading, incompetent patient are disable to make medical decision by themselves) Their adult parents have legal and ethical right to make medical decisions for them, they have the authority to stop or continue the life sustaining treatment for their child. Because parents are believed that they are the person who know/understand the most about their child’s needs and care about them the most, also parents will make decision that provide best interest to their child. But in the reading, although the closest family members of the incompetent patient(Robert) care Robert just like how much a parent care to their child, the closest family members still couldn’t have the authority to make the medical decision that they want for

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