Neurosurgery: An 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 aggressive treatment on this patient given his grave status? The ethical side of medical treatments can sometimes be problematic and determining futile treatment is an example of an ethical dilemma (Terra & Powell, 2012). Given the situation, the best outcome everyone is hoping may not be realized.
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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

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