Medical Ehics and Dilemmas

The parents of Charlotte Wyatt, who is seriously ill after being born prematurely, want doctors to keep treating her. But having already resuscitated Charlotte three times after she stopped breathing, staff at the Portsmouth hospital where she is being cared for say she should be allowed to die if her breathing stops again. The case is now being decided in the High Court. Or, the case of the Maltese conjoined twins Rosie and Gracie, who shared a heart. In that case, doctors argued Gracie would benefit from the operation to separate her from her sister because her heart was keeping both girls alive, and it could not bear the strain.

But the operation would result in certain death for Rosie. Their parents had argued against the procedure, saying doctors were playing God. In 2001, judges decided the operation should go ahead. Rosie died but Gracie survived and went back to Malta with her parents. What is the correct decision in such medical cases? Though doctors can refuse to treat a patient if they feel it is in the person’s best interests but is it always right? These are hugely difficult decisions for doctors and, of course, for families.

These are some of the ethical questions of medicine that lead to grave dilemmas. The term medical ethics can be defined as the “moral values and judgments as they apply to medicine. ” Medical ethics are those guidelines under which a doctor shall practice medicine. Violation of medical ethics by any licensed practitioner can lead to legal prosecution. Although, “healing should be the sole purpose of medicine”, but this cannot be always be true in practical life. In practice, however, many treatments carry some risk of harm.

In some circumstances, e. . in desperate situations where the outcome without treatment will be grave, risky treatments that stand a high chance of harming the patient will be justified, as the risk of not treating is also very likely to do harm. This can be related to the above example of the Maltese conjoined twins. Although the primary goal of doctors was to save a life but they had to lose another. While, the refusal of treatment would have led to death for both. The concept of medical futility has been an important topic in discussions of medical ethics.

What should be done if there is no chance that a patient will survive but the family members insist on advanced care? What is the role of the doctor in such cases? In such cases euthanasia has been a common practice in many countries where it is legal. So the question arises, do we have the right to take someone’s life? Life is the gift of God and no one has the right over others life. Same debate has been experienced in the case of the premature baby Charlotte Wyatt. Whereas, sometimes a treatment can also result to a phenomenon called the double effect.

A commonly cited example of this phenomenon is the use of morphine in the dying patient. Such use of morphine can ease the pain and suffering of the patient, while simultaneously hastening the demise of the patient through suppression of the respiratory drive. Doctors are those people who are trained to ease the suffering of a patient. But they cannot be always right. As they are also human beings, they also tend to make mistakes. Various cases around the world has been reported of doctors making careless mistakes e. g. leaving a pair of forceps inside a patients body during a surgery.

Therefore, these sorts of mishaps has resulted in insecurity among patients and also between doctors. Some choices in life are easy to make whereas some are very difficult. We don’t know how we must react to such a situation where our conscience/values tells us to do one thing whereas we have been ordered by authorities to do the other. Medicine is all about hope of life. It had been created so that the lives of the suffering could be saved. But, sometimes when we try to do something good, we might end up doing the wrong. Hence, this would arouse confusion, insecurity and frustration.

Is euthanasia, or assisted suicide, humane? Should it be accepted in the medical world? Euthanasia is a very serious ethical dilemma faced in modern health care. Euthanasia is mostly a matter of opinion, and has different meanings to different people. …

Dentistry is a profession that involves direct contact with people. Given this predicament, it is only necessary for dentists to follow a specific ethics or rules of engagement. Like the Ten Commandments being summed up in to two greater commandments, …

Picture this scenario: You are working in the emergency room of a public hospital where the inflow of patients is higher than the available beds. You are treating an elderly man who is breathless and cyanosed. While you assess whether …

Picture this scenario: You are working in the emergency room of a public hospital where the inflow of patients is higher than the available beds. You are treating an elderly man who is breathless and cyanosed. While you assess whether …

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