Next-Of Kin Case

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Oftentimes, grief can be a challenging thing to overcome as a healthcare provider. It not only stymies people from making sound decisions, but it can end up with blame focused in areas where it should not be. This is with particular regard to patient families. In the case of this 72-year-old patient, there are a number of issues in this situation that are both unethical and downright illegal, including the fact that the patient’s living will is not currently being respected.
Legal/Ethical issue 1: The legality of the living will parameters
Both the legal and ethical issues of this situation have the do with the legality of the living will. As this was a document drafted and signed by the patient when she was in sound mental condition, the contents of it should be respected, even with regard to this situation. The husband has stated that the patient never intended for the living …show more content…

Even if the next-of-kin was not a surrogate, the facility will generally turn to this person for decisions. However, the living will should be respected before the decision of the next-of-kin because it is a specific accounting of what the patient actually wanted. In this regard, the husband is extremely emotion and may not be making decisions based on the facts such as they are nor is he respecting the legality of the living will. In fact, what he is doing is attempting to interpret it, which is not the role of this decision-maker. 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

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