Case Study : Following Sudden Cardiac Arrest Essay
Following sudden cardiac arrest, Sara, a 28 years old female, was admitted to the nursing home for the past three years without any meaningful evidence of neurological improvement. Although her brain stem was severely affected, her heart was beating regularly, and she can breathe spontaneously. She has been considered as being in a persistent vegetative state and was completely dependent on the PEG tube for feeding. The doctors responsible for Sara?s case decided that the life was with no value for Sara and the PEG tube should be withdrawn to allow her to die peacefully.
The ethics of this case was turned on why the physician is recommending withdrawal, and why Sara?s husband wants the feeding tube maintained. One of the important factors that should be considered when approaching this debate is Sara?s own wishes, as stopping feeding will violate her right to life and might be against her wishes. However, Sara was incompetent and not able to clarify her wishes. Furthermore, there is no living will and the family and her husband stated that Sara has not expressed her desire regarding end of life issues in the past. Thus, the decision falls to the designated surrogate decision maker her husband who will use his knowledge of Sara?s interest to decide on her behalf (Fritch, Petronio, Helft, & Torke, 2013) .
The position of Sara?s husband in maintaining the feeding tube can be defended by utilitarianism. The principle of utility asserts that we ought to do…