Ethical Case Study Analysis Word Count: 1,581 Professor: Health care decisions have the potential to dramatically alter the lives of patients and their families in many ways. Because of this, it is critical that health care practitioners make ethical decisions which take all the relevant factors into consideration…
M and the application of Christian ethics on the case. In this case study, Mrs. M was 54 years old and had suffered a heart attack as well as having multiple secondary diagnoses. Mrs. M had experienced a history of depression and anxiety, which had resulted in an attempt at suicide ten years prior. She had also discussed end-of-life situations with her husband, and did not wish to remain alive if her quality of life was below a certain point. Her treatment options led to her requesting to be withdrawn from ventilator support, a decision that had full support of her daughter and husband. Despite this, four days after she had entered the hospital, the doctor began to question her decision-making ability and/or competence. Mrs. M’s case is complicated by the fact that there are multiple secondary diagnoses in addition to her primary diagnosis. This makes the prediction of outcomes difficult. Acute pancreatitis is an inflammatory process that occurs in the kidneys, which is able to be reversed. The survival chance for this diagnosis is high (Carroll et al. 1513), and Mrs. M has previously recovered from this problem. In the case, Mrs. M was suffering from severe pain as a result of the inflammation. Diagnosis involves the use of a range of clinical markers, which are increased when acute pancreatitis is occurring. ...
Other treatments that can be used include nutritional management, aggressive volume repletion and the use of antibiotics (Carroll et al. 1516). This suggests that the recommendations for treatment for Mrs. M were not necessarily extensive, and there may have been alternative options that could have increased Mrs. M’s quality of life. Another issue is that although the treatment options given to Mrs. M do not appear to be complete, no second opinion was sought or given. The provision of a second opinion is important because research has indicated that medical decision making is influenced by a range of factors that are outside of the medical field. This includes aspects such as the personality of the physician, the organizational setting and the age of either the physician or the patient (Feldman et al. 343). This means that a patient such as Mrs. M might not be given all of the treatment options or alternative diagnoses available. This is a particularly important part of the case, because Mrs. M and her family are making decisions that will influence her future, and it is critical that they have all the information possible when they are doing this. At the time of the case study, Mrs. M was in a position where her quality of life was considerably compromised and did not want to spend the rest of her life in this state. However, there are several factors that suggest that her condition may improve over time, and lead to an increase in quality of life. The first of these indications is physician’s perception that Mrs. M had the ability to rally medically, which indicates that over time her quality of life would improve. The second aspect is that the pancreatic surgery, if successful, would ...
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