Ethical Issues In Surrogates

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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
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Futility is used by physicians to withdraw life support to convey a message to the surrogate of the patient. If the patient or surrogate is not properly informed of the situation before the removal of life support, physicians can be held responsible for euthanasia. Problems do arise when the surrogate(s) want to further life-sustaining treatment and the Physicians oppose it. For instant when a Physician does not want to provide treatment because it is inappropriate. The legal rule states that a malpractice test must be performed. This test looks at the Physicians “treatment decisions against the appropriate standard of medical care” which determines if any patients had injury due to treatment given by the Physician (Luce and Alpers). If the Physician has given adequate treatment the Court is obligated to favor the decisions of the Physician to remove any life support and treat for comfort. This leaves the hospital and the Physician with no liability after the removal of life-support which leads to negotiation on what is to come …show more content…
To do this the physician must first tell the patient or surrogate the prognosis. Following a variety of options that the patient has in the end-of-life. The patient/surrogate must be told the benefits of each of the options presented. Legal right must then be stated so when using medications to treat pain it is understood that it is only for the symptoms of pain and not to speed the process of death. If a physician is not able to provide this information, then he/she must assign another physician to do so (Department of

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