an analysis of the legal and or ethical issues involved in the below health care scenario.

The final project for this course is an analysis of the legal and or ethical issues involved in the below health care scenario. See questions to be answered at end of this factual scenario below. I have also provided, after the formatting requirements for the paper, two articles that will aid you in your analyzing the scenario and writing your paper.

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The two articles to base the analysis of your paper are entitled:

Clinical Ethics Issues and Discussion and

A Framework for Thinking Ethically

This is the final paper for the class and must be double spaced and be approximately 4-5 pages in 12 point New Times Roman font. Include a cover page [not counted as a page] which should have student name and title of your paper. See more formatting requirements later in these paper instructions.

NOTE: For this paper it is unnecessary to do any research beyond the two articles I furnished with this assignment. Both are after the specific paper requirements.  You may use all the articles in the class also. To do internet research would only be wasting your valuable time.

Case Scenario

A 72 year old woman was admitted to the Neurological Intensive Care Unit following a cerebral hemorrhage which left her with severe brain damage and ventilator dependent. One year before this event, the patient and her husband had drawn up “living wills” with an attorney. She was diagnosed by her treating physician as being in a permanent unconscious condition. The patient’s living will specified that the patient did not want ventilator support or other artificial life support in the event of a permanent unconscious condition or terminal condition.

The patient’s husband is her legal next of kin and the person with surrogate decision-making authority. When the living will was discussed with him, he insisted that the patient had not intended for the document to be used in a situation like the present one. Further discussion with him revealed that he understood that the patient would not be able to recover any meaningful brain function but he argued that the living will did not apply because her condition was not imminently terminal. He further indicated that he did not consider his wife to be in a permanent unconscious condition.  The immediate family members (the couple’s adult children) disagreed with their father’s refusal to withdraw life support.

The treatment team allowed a week to pass to allow the husband more time to be supported in his grief and to appreciate the gravity of his wife’s situation.  Nevertheless, at the end of this time, the husband was unwilling to authorize withdrawal of life support measures consistent with the patient’s wishes as expressed in her living will. End of scenario.

You paper should have 3 major sections. Each is numbered 1, 2 and 3. Questions to be discussed based on the facts above. You must weave into your discussion the relevant facts from above scenario to support your discussion in discussion areas 2 and 3 below. And for discussion area 3 you must weave into your discussion the ethics philosophy you pick for each issue from the article A Framework for Thinking Ethically.  -5% penalty in grading rubric if fail to use appropriate underlined headings in your paper. 

  1. Three Legal/Ethical Issues. Just list the three most important legal/ethics issues in this scenario that you will discuss. They must be three separate, different and distinct issues. Pay particular attention to the article I furnished with this assignment. No explanation needed, just state them 1, 2, 3.
  2. Discussion of Three Legal/Ethical Issues.  Discuss the three most important ethical/legal issues you listed above. Must use the relevant facts in the scenario to support your discussion of the legal/ethical issues.

Must use underlined headings below.  Headings will be:

           Legal/Ethical issue 1 [state the issue] then discussion

           Legal/Ethical issue 2 [state the issue] then discussion

           Legal/Ethical issue 3 [state the issue] then discussion

For each legal/ethical issue above discuss

a. Why each is a legal /ethical issue?

b. Discuss each issue in the context of the scenario facts and

c. Define the concepts you use

 

  1. How I would Handle Each Issue.  First, in this section and for each issue, as a health care provider, how would you handle each of the three issues discussed above and why?  Must use the relevant facts in the scenario to support your positions. Secondly for each issue, using the article in these requirements, entitled “A Framework of Thinking Ethically” fully discuss the specific ethics philosophy that would epitomize your handling of each issue. Fully define the specific ethics philosophy used and weave the ethics philosophy into your discussion. See article below entitled A Framework for Thinking Ethically.

Must use underlined headings below.  Headings will be:

      Handling of Legal/ethical issue #1 [then discussion]

      Handling of Legal/ethical issue #2 [then discussion]

      Handling of Legal/ethical issue #3 [then discussion]

[-5% in grading rubric fail to use appropriate headings in your paper. ]

This is an independent paper and you are on the honor system not to discuss or consult with any students or other individuals about this paper. You may use the information we have discussed in the class, the articles in the class, and the two articles I have furnished below. Just so you know, all you need to read to analyze the questions for your paper are the two articles I have furnished with this assignment and information in the class.

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