Ethical Issues In End Of Life Decisions Essay

1814 words - 7 pages

They were the subjects of public disputes with family members, court systems, medical professionals, the media, and society at large. Terri Schiavo, Nancy Cruzan and Karen Ann Quinlan; their names are synonymous with permanent vegetative state (PVS). The amazing technological advancements in modern medicine has been credited with keeping persons alive who in times past would have died, therefore this is remarkable for countless families. In the cases of the Quinlan’s, the Cruzan’s and many like them, families members find it unbearable to witness loved ones who linger indefinitely in PVS with little or no chance for recovery. There are many like Terri Schiavo’s parents, who value the lives of their love ones no matter how limited their lives are. So the medical, legal and moral questions arise; should PVS patients be denied nutrition and hydration until they die? Patients living in PVS’s should be given every medical treatment available to increase their chances for recovery but rather they recover or not they are human beings and the limited life they have should be preserved and treated with dignity.

Terri Schiavo with her mother at the Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park, Florida in 2005.

Permanent Vegetative State
Disorders of consciousness (DOC) refer to patients in comas, vegetative states (VS), locked-in-syndrome, and minimally conscious states. Characteristics of the vegetative state are arousal without awareness of self or environment. The persons can blink their eyes, smile, and make noises, but these functions are solely involuntary. “A “persistent vegetative state” is a vegetative state that remains one month after brain damage, which becomes a “permanent vegetative state” three months after non-traumatic brain damage or one year after traumatic injury. Only “permanent vegetative state” is meant to indicate irreversibility” (Fisher & Appelbaum, 2010, p. 374, para. 3). According to John Collins Harvey, a senior research scholar and professor emeritus of medicine at Georgetown University, feeding tubes should be removed from patients in PVS because there is no hope for recovery. Harvey explains that the cerebral cortex the area of the brain that controls conscious thought, language, and sensory perception has been irreparably damaged by a lack of oxygen (Harvey, 2004). However, recent studies on DOC have revealed the difficulty of diagnosing PVS, especially because a few PVS patients recovered consciousness and demonstrated awareness as a result of drug therapies and functional imaging studies (Fisher & Appelbaum, 2010). Obviously, these patients were not in PVS, an irreversible condition. The awakening of persons after the administration of specific medications brings attention to the possibility that VS is often over diagnosed (Sara & Pistoia, 2010). “The differential diagnosis of disorders of consciousness is challenging. The rate of misdiagnosis is approximately 40%, and new methods are required to complement bedside...

Find Another Essay On Ethical Issues in End-of-Life Decisions

Religion in End of Life Care

2968 words - 12 pages in need. Through time, hospitals modernized into what is seen today, but specialty areas have still kept the purpose for an improved quality of life then for a cure. These include hospice and palliative care facilities, which are known to support a positive outlook of life during difficult times. It can then be argued that patients turn to the idea of a “higher power” as support, strength, or a peace of mind, when facing the end of their life

Ethical Issues in Organ Transplantation Essay

1552 words - 6 pages created a wide gap between organ supply and organ demand, which has resulted in very long waiting times to receive an organ as well as an increasing number of deaths while waiting (Caplan, 1998). These events have raised many ethical, moral and societal issues regarding supply and organ allocation, xenotransplantation, the risks and benefits of organ donation from living donors, the issues dealing with organ donation from the deceased, and the

Ethical Issues in Information System

1333 words - 5 pages without access to these systems are affected in significant ways by them. New ethical and legal decisions are necessary to balance the needs and rights of everyone.As in other new technological arenas, legal decisions lag behind technical developments. Ethics fill the gap as people negotiate how use of electronic information should proceed. The following notes define the broad ethical issues now being negotiated. Since laws deciding some aspects of

Ethical Issues in the Study of Domestic Violence

1237 words - 5 pages This essay will critically analyse the ethical issues portrayed in the study of researching domestic violence. Ethical issues are inevitable in any research, especially that of the sensitive population. This essay will look at the ethical dilemmas of researching a sensitive population in relation to gaining access to the data. This essay will also look at the safeguards that were put in place to potential ethical problems and analyse their

Ethical Issues in Medical Technology

1561 words - 6 pages patients are being overcharged for medical services. Getting rid of incentives, could help to solve the problem of uninformed patients. In turn, these patients and their loved ones will be able to make the right decisions. Another big issue in the debate of ethical issues in these life-extending technologies is the lives of the caregivers. Caregivers are most often loved ones: spouses, children etc. In many cases the patients need round the clock

Ethical Issues in e-Commerce

1574 words - 6 pages Introduction The Internet has received a great deal of attention in the media lately due to its tremendous growth in usage by both consumers and businesses. The unique capabilities of the Internet has captured the attention of the marketing community. While a growing number of companies have or are interested in developing an Internet presence, there is still a great deal of uncertainty about it and the potential ethical issues associated

Ethical standard in environmental issues

1485 words - 6 pages another factor that plays into brownlash thinking is that people believe now that due to the progresses made in protecting the environment the environmental quality is improving. Some people may be affected by the rules and regulations set up to protect the environment, such as a logger whose life maybe jeopardized by the enforcement of the Endangered species act. Such dissatisfied individuals feel oppressed with the rules and regulations set up by

Ethical Issues in Hotel Rwanda

1144 words - 5 pages even human life has to be saved through corruption. There are several ethical issues surrounding the decision by the Hutu politicians to start the genocide. It is unfair and unethical for the Hutus to blame the entire Tutsi tribe for the president’s death. The Hutu politicians are so much driven by hatred that they fail to consider the innocent lives to be lost in the planned genocide. Instead, they organize numerous Hutu militia groups

Ethical Issues In Information Systems

4412 words - 18 pages Ethical Issues in Information Systems Table of Contents 1. Introduction New Technology And New Ethical Issues 2. Networks Definition of a Network 3. Behavior on the Network New Standards of Conduct Netiquette Acceptable Use Policies Exporting Through the Networks Copyrights 4. Networks Access 5. Networks and Privacy 6. Databases Data Mosaics Data Sharing and Consequences 7. Geographic Information Systems International Data: Taking and Sharing

Ethical Issues in Employment Law

988 words - 4 pages professionalism and respecting the others’ responsibilities and duties, there were some individuals that were not so easy to work with. One in particular was a female officer of the major rank. Though respectful of the position she held, the decisions she made and the demeanor to which she addressed unit personnel was difficult to tolerate. Several reports of behavior unbecoming of an officer were provided to her chain of command. Fortunately

Ethical Issues in Genetic Testing

1317 words - 5 pages four nucleotides are essential for our life survival. A small change in one letter can cause critical damage to a individual. As technology has evolved, scientists are now able to crack genetic code and have been able to discover the complete set of human genes. Genetic testing is a medical test that reads out the genetic material contained within the cell which can be used to identify any alterations of chromosomes, genes or proteins. RNA is

Similar Essays

Assisted Suicide Paper The Need To Have An Understanding Of The Moral, Legal And Ethical Issues Facing Clinicians Dealing With End Of Life Issues. . .

2100 words - 8 pages Assisted Suicide PaperFebruary 26, 2004AbstractThe need to have an understanding of the moral, legal and ethical issues facing clinicians dealing with end of life issues. Those who treat patients approaching the end of life often face moral, ethical, and legal issues involving shared decision-making, futility, the right to refuse medical treatment, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide. This paper will address the following; An overview of

The Ethical Issue Of Foregoing Nutrition And Hydration In End Of Life Care

2097 words - 8 pages The Ethical Issue of Foregoing Nutrition and Hydration in End-of-Life CareEnd-of-life care comprises a major aspect of the modern health care system, serving those who suffer from terminal illness, a medical condition that is irreversible, or imminent death. As the aging population in the United States continues to grow at a rapid pace, along with a rising awareness of better care for the seniors in the general public over the years, end-of-life

Ethical Issues And Issues Of Sensitivity In Sociological Research

1528 words - 6 pages Ethical Issues and Issues of Sensitivity in Sociological Research Ethical issues are the considerations that can have an important influence on the research process. They are moral principles- beliefs about what is right and wrong, which often guide research. Sociological associations in many countries have a set of ethical guidelines for conducting research. There are six main ethical issues; I will explore them below

Ethical Issues In Management Essay

1120 words - 4 pages ).Businesses today have to face a multitude of ethical and social issues in the quest to become, and be seen as, a socially and ethically responsible business. When discussing diversity one social issue that directly ties in with ethically responsible management practices, is affirmative action. Affirmative action has been and continues to be a controversial topic and is even less popular during these times of increased unemployment and economic