Ethical Issues In Medical Technology

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The year was 1988 when a couple, currently living in the state of Delaware, were expecting their second child. As the mother delivered her baby, the medical staff froze in silence. The newborn infant was rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit where her condition was to be fully assessed. The baby girl was born with Spina Bifida, a congenital birth defect. Back then, medical technology did not have the ability to detect this particular birth defect. However, times have changed. Medical and technological developments have made it possible for detection. Upon reading the article “Medical Technology and Ethical Issues” by authors William E. Thompson and Joseph V. Hickey, I was reminded of the fate that unborn babies today face when diagnosed with Spina Bifida in utero. A fate that can now be determined by technology. In recent years, medical staff have heavily relied on an array of machines and medical programs to determine whether an unborn child …show more content…
As stated by medical ethicist Arthur Caplan, a program that is not 100% accurate should not be responsible for allocating medical resources (Thompson & Hickey, 2011). In truth, there is no certainty on patient survival regardless of the situation. For instance, two patients with similar injuries arrive at the emergency room. Medical staff use RIP and determine that the older victim has the highest likelihood of survival, while the child’s fragile body has minimal chance. When life-saving measures are taken to save the older victim’s life, the unexpected occurs. The older victim suffers complications resulting in death. Now we have the death of two individuals when there should have been none. Computer programs such as RIP are intended to be used as a tool. However, because of dependence on technology, doctors facing an emergency situation place a patient’s best interest at

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