Case Study

Carrie, a 26 year-old female, is admitted to the hospital following a major motor vehicle accident. She is unresponsive and on life-support machines. The physicians and staff have expressed concerns regarding her ability to recover, as she is now in a persistent vegetative state with no brain activity. Her parents believe that she will recover given time and are insistent that she continue to receive aggressive treatment. Carrie’s husband, Bob, is at her bedside. He is requesting that the physicians stop providing treatment and is adamant that keeping her on the machines is against her wishes. The patient does not have a living will or a medical power of attorney identified. As a member of the ethics committee, you have been contacted to determine the best course of action.

Assignment

Based on the article’s discussion, apply the four key aspects of decision-making models to the case study.

Write a 1-2 page letter to the attending physician and family in which you:

  1. Describe the ethical dilemma.
  2. Offer your recommendation for the best course of action.
  3. Provide rationale for your recommendation.
  4. Identify the ethical problem.
  5. Gather relevant facts and information, considering others in terms of impact, views, and opinions.
  6. Identify different possible options and choose and justify one option.
  7. Implement the decision.

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