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Ethical Dilema - Essay Example

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This paper will discuss this patients decision in light of the utilitarian theory of biomedical ethics.
"Utilitarianism holds that the best option is the one that does the most expected good (Beauchamp &Childress, 2005). Stuart Mill defines utilitarian ethical philosophy as that which defines a good action as the one that maximizes pleasure and minimizes pain to as many people as possible (Feldman, 2006). In other words, the consequences of the decision should be better than any of the other possible decisions. In this case, by utilitarian rules, there are other people to consider such as children and grandchildren.
The need to prolong life to its maximum accompanies our success with medicine and societys need for a long and healthy life. It used to be that people watched while loved ones suffered toward their deaths with a critical illness. This has been replaced with the philosophy that death should be stalled by using every advanced technology available (Trnobranski, 1996).This then creates a moral issue for many kinds including the understanding of what prolonging life means and what terminal illness means. The need for healthcare professionals to feel they have intervened in the life of a case has promoted the need to have an ethical professional code. The primary duty of all healthcare professionals is "not to inflict harm."
There too, of course is the argument of omission versus actually giving a lethal injection. The view that does seem to be supported by all of the resources review is this. Quality of life determines whether a treatment is ordinary or extraordinary is unimportant. What is important is whether the effectiveness of the treatment in questions will provide or destroy the quality of life (Trnobranski, 1996).
This patient has done, already everything that her healthcare team thought would work. She has had extra time with her family and has led a happy life. In ...Show more
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Summary

She has been very happy, lives by herself and volunteers at a senior center. She has had three years in which she treated her cancer and allowed chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, after which she became dependent…
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