Student_Wk_08_Ethics

Student_Wk_08_Ethics - Week Eight: Ethical Issues Involving...

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Week Eight: Ethical Issues Involving Withdrawing or Withholding Treatments In addition to your Annual Editions readings, materials have been adapted from: DeSpelder, Lynn, and Albert Strickland. 2005. The Last Dance: Encountering Death and Dying . 7 th ed. NY: McGraw Hill. Our exploration of ethical issues will focus mainly on feeding tubes. 1. Many of the ideas presented can be adapted and applied to other types of treatments and care. 2. Please note: Robert Orr and Gilbert Meilaender (Annual Editions article) have different views on whether food is a treatment rather than standard nursing care. Please refer to their article for details. 3. For the purpose of this class, we will focus on the use of feeding tubes in patients as a life-sustaining or life- prolonging measure. Moral debate on use/nonuse of feeding tubes hinges on three considerations: 1. The distinction between “ordinary” and extraordinary” treatments. 2. The important social symbolism of feeding. 3. The distinction between withholding and withdrawing treatments. Distinction between “ordinary” and extraordinary” treatments 1. This distinction has been used for over 400 years. 2. Ordinary: 2.1. not too painful or burdensome for patient 2.2. not too expensive 2.3. has reasonable chance of working 3. Extraordinary: Treatments deemed to have an undue burden on patient. 4. Use of other terms for this distinction Please refer to Annual Edition article for details. 5. Perhaps better to use “proportionate” and “disproportionate.” 5.1.1. Term is also used in 1983 President’s Commission report, Deciding to Forgo Life-Sustaining Technologies . 5.1.2. Proportionality: Weigh the burdens and benefits of a particular treatment for a particular patient . 6. When evaluating the ethical use of a treatment, look at it in the context of a specific patient. 6.1. Broad generalizations are useful as starting points – but it is important to then consider a treatment in a patient-relative context as well. Important social symbolism of feeding
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Student_Wk_08_Ethics - Week Eight: Ethical Issues Involving...

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