Case Study Ethical Dilemma

1109 Words 5 Pages
The ethical dilemma I encountered was when I used to work in a Neurosurgery ICU floor. We received a patient from the OR department who suffered a gunshot wound to the temple and was clinging to life with unstable vital signs and a poor GCS status.
Step 1) Identify the problem: With the patient having a poor prognosis based on no significant improvement after initial treatment in ER and eventual surgical intervention, the family continues to request that all life-saving interventions be done for the patient (blood transfusion, dopamine, etc.) Immediate and extended family members, admitting doctor and Neurosurgery doctor and ICU nurses are all involved. Patient does not have a signed advance directive on file. The predicament is do we continue
…show more content…
This will lessen the suffering, the stress and prevent further untoward complications in addition to the traumatic injury sustained. I believe that my values are congruent in not wanting to see further suffering. The sooner the family decides to withdraw care, the sooner the healing process starts and family will not have to guess or worry about the …show more content…
Least acceptable alternative is to leave this patient on a breathing machine. The impression of the majority in the general public is that the priority of medical personnel is to save lives (Li, 2012). However, we may be able to save this man physically, but it is unknown if we can address his psychological, emotional or mental health. He may end up with feeding tubes, a plethora of medications, needing various therapies and possibly, future surgical interventions exposing him to further risks.
Step 7) Develop a plan of action utilizing the list of acceptable alternatives: Given that the patient did not have a living will, I’d press immediate family to try and remember if he has mentioned anything about his wishes. I would ask the attending doctor to explicitly explain the pros and cons of their decision and the have the whole health care team give any and all support to the family. I’d involve members of our Ethics Committee to ensure that all that needs to be addressed is taken care

Related Documents