Utilitarianism Theory In Health Care

807 Words 4 Pages
The utilitarian theory is based on greatest happiness principle. Utilitarianism is a consequentialist theory, as it judges the rightness and wrongness of an action by its consequences (Arras & et al., n.d). This theory provides us with a decision procedure such as what action produces the greatest net amount of happiness. In other words, this theory will guide us to bring more happiness. Since the patient is unconscious most of the time, and is not in a condition to decide or is not capable of making proper decisions for herself, the decision must be made by her surrogate under the supervision of hospital management and patient’s physician. If the physician involved in Mrs. Dorner case decided to respect her will and withdraw her life support, …show more content…
Whenever the healthcare team, the patient, or the patient’s family has an unsettled ethical dilemma, an ethics committee should get involved. Because the ethics committee has experienced consultants available to help free of charge when there is an ethical dilemma (Hospital ethics committee, n.d). It not only helps solve the dilemma, but also help lessen the pressure on family as well as on healthcare team. Well, in Mrs. Dorner case, it is very important that Mr. Dorner should realize what is best for his wife rather on his own happiness. It is obvious that keeping his wife alive gives him more happiness than saying her good bye. However, this choice of him keeping his wife alive will give more pain to her. In addition, he must respect the advance directives provided by her wife to her sister and follow that. He should respect his wife’s wishes. Not only that, Mrs. Dorner’s doctor already clears that she will not live more than a couple more days. Fulfilling the patient’s wish at the end of their lives is the most important things that family and healthcare providers must …show more content…
The form of advance directives could be oral or written; the written one is considered legal and more legitimate. Any decisions made under the influence of emotion is never good to the patient. In Mrs. Dorner’s case, she had verbally given advance directive to her sister Eileen when she was capable of making decision. She does not want to be burden to her husband and family in the future if something happens. Her will was to die peacefully. Unfortunately, she suffered from ovarian cancer. Because of that she is going through a lot of pain and became unconscious most of the time. Her physician already stated that she will not live more than a few days. To respect her will, following her advance directive would be the best option. In this case, her doctor and sister are able to understand her desires and condition. Mr. Dorner is not ready to let her go from his life and this world, and this makes the situation complicated. Therefore, it is very important to involved ethics committee in to the case so that Mr. Dorner will understand the case and will not regret in the

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