From an ethical and legal perspective, I need help answering these questions.

Scenario: You are the hospital administrator and are told by your ICU unit director of a patient in the unit that has suffered serious brain damage, but is not currently meeting the criteria for complete brain death. Half of the family is insisting that the patient “wouldn’t want to live this way” and the other half is accusing them of wanting to kill the patient. Some allegations have been raised about a substantial inheritance for some family members upon the patient’s death. The battle is becoming intense and it is beginning to disrupt the medical and nursing staff.
a) What are the ethical issues?
b) What are the legal issues?
c) What are the medical care issues?
d) What actions would you take? Why? How?
e) What resources would you tap?

Solution Preview


What is medically ethical and socially ethical are two different perspectives. A medical professional is legally required to operate, function, and administer decisions about a patient’s condition based on a medical diagnosis or a medical prognosis. And these determinations are made through the assessment of a patient’s condition before an injury is treated and after treatment has been administered.

Thus, what becomes moral before and after treatment is clearly communicated between the doctor and patient so that the patient is independently able to make decisions about his personal care. However, in ……

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