The Role Quality of Life Issues Displays in Medical Decisions
Jahi McMath is a 13-year-old girl living in Oakland, CA who was declared brain dead by multiple neurologists more than three months ago. Jahi was declared brain-dead December 12th after barriers during surgery a few days earlier to remove her tonsils, adenoids, and uvula at Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland. At least three neurologists confirmed that Jahi was unable to breathe on her own, had no blood flow to her brain, and had no sign of electrical activity in her brain. Moreover, a court order kept Jahi's body on a ventilator while independent experts could be brought in to confirm the results (Wells, 2014). Even so, the McMath family was able to secure the release of Jahi's body through the county coroner, who issued a death certificate, and have been keeping her on a ventilator at an undisclosed facility ever since. This all occurred after Children’s Hospital released Jahi due to her severe brain damage along with the probability of the hospital receiving profit from discharging Jahi before her or her family were ready for her to be released (Johnson and Rhodes, 2010, p. 61).
The family of Jahi has experienced limited resources as well as limited possibilities, however the quality of life has a strong hold on the medical decisions made by the family. According to Johnson and Rhodes (2010), quality of life (QOL) is one of the main focuses by the hospice movement (p. 64). It is known as the general well being of individuals and societies. This includes fields of international development, healthcare, and politics. The consideration of quality of life in making medical decisions regarding healthcare may involve judgments about the worth of life, and that deliberation usually requires standards grounded in ethical principles. (Pearlman and Jonsen, 1985). However when there are limited amounts of resources, the quality of life should play a huge part in the medical decision regardless. As the importance of medical centers are to keep patients healthy and alive with effective treatment, quality of life should have a huge impact in the medical decisions made. When it comes to healthcare and making medical decisions quality of life should be an essential feature when resources are limited and when resources are plentiful.
The rational/social exchange perspective is based on the assumptions that individuals have the ability to reason, make choices based on consideration of available substitutions and anticipated consequences, and act in their own best interest (Johnson and Rhodes, 2010, p. 7). Regarding healthcare, the patients and their families should be in charge of medical decisions and not the physicians because of ethical reasons where they are entitled to what they believe is medically best for the patient. Essentially, in serious cases physicians and health care providers are directed by the living will to follow the patient’s commands (Johnson and Rhodes, 2010, p....