Monday, May 18, 2020

Ethical and Professional Implications Essay - 1261 Words

Ethical and Professional Implications The autonomy of a competent patient is an issue not often debated in medical ethics. Refusal of unwanted treatment is a basic right, likened to the common law of battery, available to all people capable of a competent choice. These fundamental rules of medical ethics entered a completely new forum as medical technology developed highly effective life-sustaining care during the 20th century. Several watershed cases elucidated these emerging issues in the 1960’s and 70’s, none more effectively than that of Karen Ann Quinlan. Fundamentally, this case established that a once-competent patient without the possibility of recovery could have their autonomy exercised by a surrogate in regard to the†¦show more content†¦The case of Karen Ann Quinlan led to four basic approaches to this ethical problem; advance directives or other clear evidence of the patients wishes while competent, surrogate decision making (power of attorney), and action in the patients best inte rest. Each solution has deficiencies both in theory and practice, but there can be no debate that their application has changed the landscape of medical ethics. The advance directive, or living will, is one way of circumventing the ethical dilemma of Quinlan, as it is essentially a set of choices by the competent patient if faced with different hypothetical circumstances. Patients can thus feel comfortable knowing that their competent wishes have been documented and can be easily interpreted in case of catastrophe. However, the authority of advance directives is a topic hotly debated amongst medical ethicists (see Advance Directive Authority). Arguments against directives state that not all factors are considered by the person creating the advance order. Also, in some cases of severe dementia, it is argued that the personal identity of the author is no longer intact and therefore has no authority over the treatment of the â€Å"new† person. The debate on this topic is extremely complex, but many of today’s cases are decided on an individual basis, with the directive often being upheld. A more efficient method of conveying incompetent patient wishes is byShow MoreRelatedThe Ethical And Legal Implication Of Consent On Nursing And Professional Practice1356 Words   |  6 Pagesto the use of public services; while other rules will focus and apply only to specific groups of individuals such as healthcare professionals. 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