This discussion is about the professional accountability of persons engaged in the medical profession. Due to the advancements in the medical technology, today doctors are able to offer treatments that cure even the very complicated conditions. People with potentially life threatening conditions are able to prolong their lives due to the remarkable improvements in the treatments. But here doctors are faced with an important issue of explaining to the patient the kind of treatment to be administered, the possible results, side effects that may occur and get the consent of the patient. Obtaining the consent of the patient is very essential to commence any kind of treatment. Patient autonomy which means the right of the patient who is in a sound mental capacity to take the decision whether to acceptor refuse the treatment is given utmost importance. If the patient is not in a state of mind to give his consent, efforts should be made to find out the views expressed by him earlier in this regard or the consent of the closest family member should be obtained. When neither could be done, that situation put doctors in a fix. They land in an ethical dilemma as to whether to save the life of the patient or to respect his own decision even if it would lead him to his end of life. The following problem deals with such a kind.
You are working in a casualty department of a large hospital. An accident victim is rushed in one evening. He is conscious, but badly injured and desperately in need a blood transfusion. However, he turns out to have religious principles that forbid the exchange of blood. You explain the situation to him, including the very really threat to his survival if he does not have a transfusion. He clearly understands exactly what you are telling him, but still refuses to accept a transfusion, and asks you to do what you can by other means. He then slips into unconsciousness. One of your colleagues suggests that you give him a transfusion while he is unconscious, thereby saving his life.
What is the action to be taken in the above condition Same as every other profession the medical profession also has its professional rules, ethics and code of conduct clearly laid out. The basic principle of the medical profession is based on two rules - the main aim of medical professionals is to give treatment to the patient so as to remove or reduce the cause that is affecting them and the second aim is in doing so the patient is not suffering. The process of treatment should not be harmful to the patient in any other way. Medial ethics also point out that the patient must be respected as an individual who has the ultimate right to decide what should be done to his body.
The above mentioned case presents an ethically difficult situation to handle. The victim is brought to the hospital in a critical state but he is conscious. His medical examination reveals that he is in immediate need of blood transfusion delaying or failing which may prove fatal to him. I immediately explain to him the situation, treatment to be given, futility of the treatment if delayed and the outcome if the blood transfusion is not given. As a procedure I seek his consent for the same. Though he