Essay on Keeping The Right Decision ( Thompson )

1304 Words Nov 8th, 2016 6 Pages
Who decides what to do when it comes to someone else’s life? A multitude of people in the world have a problem deciding whether or not to “pull the plug” for their loved ones. “Pulling the plug” comes with major ethical issues when deciding the best interests of the patient, so policies, procedures, and principles have been put in place to help physicians and the family/surrogates to make the right decision (Thompson). Two main principles justify the legality of this issue which are informed consent and informed refusal.
Informed refusal comes with a variety of guidelines that physicians must follow. The job of a physician is to secure comfort when it comes to withdrawing life support. Major questions come into play for example, if you remove life support are you killing the patient? If a physician gives you pain killers is it aiding in the death of the patient? Are physicians able to give large amounts of opioids to their patients when they are at the end of their life? All of these questions have a simple answer, no. The policies that bring us to answering these questions are simple, the physician must only treat symptoms the patient has while dying. For example, if a patient is in mass amounts of pain the physician is allowed to treat this with as much opioids as needed to relieve the pain. If the patient is to die from the high amount of opioids used it is not classified as euthanasia because it was genuinely used to treat the patient’s symptoms. If withdrawing life…

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