We will discuss 2 cases related to withholding and withdrawing life support. One is a landmark case from over 30 years ago and one is very recent. One involved a court case to remove life support and one involved a court case to maintain life support on an infant.
There are brief youtube videos on each. You can also google both of these individuals to read much more.
Case 1: Nancy Cruzan
Case 2: Charlie Gard
Please select one of these cases for your initial response. When creating a thread, complete the subject line by identifying which case you are responding to.
in responding, first do a very brief summary of the particular individual and the ethical dilemma. Then respond to Step 2 OR Steps 3 and 4 of the Framework for Ethical Decision Making.
Worksheet for Ethical Decision-Making Framework
Introduction: Cite the case that you are using. Describe the situation and the ethical dilemma
1. What patient situation are you researching? Please describe and discuss the individual and the situation.
2. Identify and discuss the ethical dilemma in this case (ie, withholding, withdrawing, assisted suicide, etc.)
Step 1: Identify ethical issues
Identify and discuss the ethical issue(s) involved with this situation (based on 7 ethical/universal principles); other ethical issues?
Step 2: Gather the facts
What are the facts and circumstances? Are there any formal or informal opinions in the media or elsewhere? What are the legal ramifications? Has this issue been decided by the courts before or did it result in new legal direction/new laws?
Step 3: Consider at least two options to address dilemma
Process calls for at least 3 options but for this assignment, 2 are sufficient. With 2 options, they are generally polar opposites, such as to do x or not to do x; need to be credible
Step 4: Weigh and evaluate the potential options
Consider these possible alternatives by analyzing the ethical arguments for and against each action, as well as their possible outcomes.
Arguments for: Arguments against: Option 2:
Step 4a: Ethical Theory
What ethical theory (ie, duty oriented or utilitarianism) are you going to use to make the choice? Please discuss/describe the theory. Why are you using this theory?
Step 5: Decide and act. What is your decision and why?
Make your decision. Justify your rationale. Determine action.
Step 6: How would you assess outcomes
How would you, as the Ethics Committee, assess and evaluate both the process and outcomes of your ethical decision making in order to track creative solutions, unanticipated consequences, and overall satisfaction with the results of the plan of action by all of the parties involved?
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