Please read Chapter 5 – Development of Law, and Chapter 6 – Introduction to Law, and discuss why physicians have been so reluctant to remove patient’s life support systems.

Discussion Post– QUESTION 1

Please read Chapter 5 – Development of Law, and Chapter 6 – Introduction to Law, and discuss why physicians have been so reluctant to remove patient’s life support systems.

Support your discussion with terms and concepts from the assigned reading in a way that demonstrates your knowledge of those terms and concepts.

Provide at least one example found through research outside of the textbook related to physician’s treatment of patients on life support. Be sure to cite your sources, use intext citations, and provide links when possible.

Always respond to two or more of your classmates in a meaningful way in each discussion.

RESPOND TO THIS:

In the United States, studies have shown that most patients who expire in intensive care units do so during the withholding and withdrawal of life support systems. Withholding and withdrawal of life support is the process through which medical interventions are not given to patients or are removed, with the expectation that the patient will die from an underlying illness. This action is legally justified by the principles of informed consent and informed refusal, both backed up by the common law. However, statutory and case law regarding the limitations of life-sustaining treatment vary from state to state. This may be why physicians are reluctant to removing life support systems. There is also a lot of pressure put on the family members of the patient, as they are the ones who make the ultimate decision.

RESPOND TO THIS:

The study of medicine and the people who take the Hippocratic oath, aka physicians, are trained to promise to care for ill people.  They vow to do all they can to heal the patient.  Patients who are terminally ill and facing death or are prematurely put in commas that they may never come out of makes this promise difficult.  Physicians and nurses are trained for healing only, so logically keeping a patient on life support gives that hope that there can be a way to save that life.  Physicians also know that the family should decide to remove someone from life support.  A loved one’s death can be very stressful and painful, and it is a fragile line of what is right and what could end up in a worse situation.  Such as the case of Stolle V The Baylor College of Medicine.  In this case, Stolle’s newborn baby was born with congenital disabilities, and as such, the parent signed a directive not to resuscitate if the child was to go under duress.  When this occurred, the physician ignored the directive and did what he could to keep the baby alive.  The baby survived and was placed on life support.  The family sued because of the directive that was ignored and the pain and suffering the child and family will now have to endure with this child’s life.  The family later lost the case due to the extent of the directive and the wording that excluded certain facts that would save the life of the child.

Lawsuits like the above are not uncommon in these instances. Because of someone’s delicacies on life support, I feel this is why physicians only “advise” on the condition and methods to treat that patient but do not make the decisions to remove someone off of life support.

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