Dr. G 's Life Sustaining Treatment Essay

759 Words Sep 14th, 2016 4 Pages
Mr. G, in his 60s, was lying on the cardiovascular surgical ICU bed with a flat affect, rarely responsive to his environment. His fingers and toes were necrotic and black. His tracheostomy was connected to the ventilator. His heart and blood pressure were dependent on multiple vasoactive drugs at the maximum dosage. He was also receiving nutritional support via a PEG-J tube. Despite all these life-sustaining treatments, his condition continued to deteriorate. Mr. G’s prognosis was grim, and the cardiac medical team recommended palliative care. However, his family insisted on maintaining current treatments. Is it ethical to withdraw the aggressive and life-sustaining treatments and transition the patient to palliative care?
The term futile “refers to a situation in which irreversibly dying patients have reached a point at which further treatment provides no physiological benefit or is hopeless and becomes optional” (Beauchamp & Childress, 2013, p. 169). The interdisciplinary team, which includes the surgeon, physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and palliative care specialist, has agreed that these aggressive treatments are futile because they are not efficacious in recovering the patient and attaining the patient’s goal, which according to his family, is to celebrate Christmas with his family. Therefore, they recommended palliative care.
“First do no harm, benefit only” is part of Hippocratic ethical dictum (Morrison & Furlong, 2014). The principle of nonmaleficence…

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