SPA 1 - was not likely that the patient was going to...

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Chris Stanton SPA #1, Sec 205 (5) Dilemma: When a family is arguing over whether or not to keep another family member alive, who should the doctor listen to? When patients who are unresponsive or incapacitated in some way, the decision of whether or not to keep them alive resides with the spouse, but if the husband or wife is not around (already deceased), the decision is left up to the children. This dilemma would occur if the children of the patient could not agree on a proper course of action when they have to. The agent faced with the choice of who to follow would be the doctor of the patient, but could then be extended to the health-care proxy or representative and even to the hospital ethics committee. The decision would depend on what was wrong with the patient. If the patient, for example, had suffered a stroke and went into a coma, with doctors explaining that it
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Unformatted text preview: was not likely that the patient was going to recover, it may seem almost inhumane to keep them alive if something else should happen. A DNR order would help in this situation, which would allow some sort of decision to be made if the patient were to suffer heart failure, for instance, but would also have to be agreed upon by the family members. Would it be ethical for the hospital and doctors to issue a DNR order to resolve the situation? It would help the situation if there was any evidence towards what the patients desires would be. For example, did the patient ever discuss a DNR-type situation with the children? Or, did the patient ever state their own personal thoughts on the issue of a DNR order or euthanasia? Any information at all may give the doctors enough evidence to override the family members who could not agree on a course of action....
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