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Biomedical Ethics - Essay Example

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Biomedical Ethics

It will focus on a case study where a pancreatic cancer patient by the name John. H had requested that doctors should not carry out resuscitation, and that they should not continue treating him. However, when the patient becomes critically ill with internal bleeding, he requests the doctors to step in and do something to save his life. This essay will discuss the Hippocratic Oath and the intrinsic values imposed on doctors in dealing with such situations. It will explore the aspect of euthanasia and its interrelation with the Hippocratic Oath where the doctors have to make a decision whether to save their lives or to let the patients die willingly. It will also explore the issue of legal consent obliged to the patients. The essay argues that doctors have a moral duty to save patients lives according to the Hippocratic Oath. Patients suffering from terminal illnesses sometimes give up and prefer death to pain. John’s case is an example of a patient who has given up and wants death through euthanasia. Hopelessness is one of the factors that associates with euthanasia and is a contributor of early death. It is characterized by the patient’s loss of fighting spirit due to factors such as poor prognosis, pain, undesirable effects of treatment and rapid deterioration of health and advancement of illness. Most patients with terminal cancer usually have a sense of hopelessness and in many times lose the self-control and the self-belief that they can prolong their life. Loss of control makes them to consider decisions such suicide and euthanasia (DeGrazia 42). Other Issues such extreme suffering and high medical bills can easily convince the patient to consider euthanasia. In such a case, the doctors should practice positive psychology and instill hope and optimism that they will do everything in their ability to help the patient recover and continue with life. Doctors should encourage patients to take control of all aspects of their lives and have a fighting spirit. In John’s case, Dr. R and Dr. S should have dissuaded Mr. John H from taking such a decision and that there was still a chance that John would survive. At the time John made such a decision, the two doctors had some chance of trying to improve John’s health even though it was in a deterioration state. It is the role of healthcare providers to provide patients with hope and confidence. They should motivate them that would pull through the condition and survive. This should take place even if the medical condition is in its worse state (47). Euthanasia is wrong and considered as assisted suicide. Doctors should weigh options in such a case before putting the patient’s wishes into effect. However, euthanasia is a personal decision and if a patient decides to end their lives, the doctors should not interfere. Informed consent in medical ethics aims at providing support to an individual’s autonomy. It gives an assurance that the doctors will not take the patient’s health for granted neither will they deceive or coerce them. In some cases, doctors face difficult situations, which require impromptu decisions to save the patient’s life. Sometimes the doctors allow euthanasia if the patients consent binds them. In medical ethics, medical consent cannot apply in a case where a patient requires emergence treatment or when they are frail, demented, or look confused (52). Patients like the one in John’s case may not have a stable mind due to confusion and might at times give a wrong consent. In such a case, a guardian should step in for them and talk to them about the right decisions to make. In John’s scenario, there is no evidence whether there was a guardian standing by and the doctors have to make a choice whether to save his life or not. In my opinion, the fact that ...Show more


This essay will explore and discuss the issue of biomedical ethics. It will discuss whether physicians are entitled to make a decision to sustain a patient’s life when the patient is in grave danger. …
Author : kaci12
Biomedical Ethics essay example
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