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Should a Suicidal Patient be allowed to refuse a Feeding Tube - Essay Example

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This paper shall discuss the case of the assisted suicide i.e. whether a suicidal patient should be allowed to refuse a feeding tube. Physicians and other healthcare providers take recourse to their scientific knowledge, and expertise to provide best possible healthcare services to the patient…
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Should a Suicidal Patient be allowed to refuse a Feeding Tube
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Download file to see previous pages Effective December 1991, the Patient Self-determination Act (PDSA) enacted by the Federal Government of U.S has empowered all the patients giving them right and autonomy whether to accept or reject the treatment provided by any healthcare establishment regardless of their physical status. The act clearly spells out about patient’s prerogative. There is no need to make any judgment by anybody whether patient’s intentions are suicidal or not. The act ensures in clear terms that no outside party has that right to decide on behalf of the patient and enforce their decisions on the patient. Further, advance directives set by the patient and surrogates nominated by them will take charge to make any decision in the event the patient is not in a position to take their own decision. (Galambos 1998)
The act was enacted to preserve end-of-life autonomy of the patient. As per PSDA, the patient must be provided with right-to-die information and possible treatment alternatives on their admission to the healthcare units. It clearly spells out that all information pertaining to the patient's legal rights with respect to medical care, right to refuse treatment, and advance directives that can be provided by the patient. The act ensures that nursing homes, hospitals, healthcare organizations including home health care agencies must provide this information to the patients when they are admitted to any of these establishments. The following is considered a part of duties of all healthcare establishments. 1. They should ensure that patient have given advance directives. 2. They have necessary policies for the implementation of these advance directives. 3. They have educated their staff about advance directives and policies. The PSDA has also promulgated that all healthcare providers should provide information to the patients about their rights to accept or refuse any medical interventions and further the patients can also create advance directives to guide surrogate and others. The directives given by the patient will help surrogates to take decision on his or her behalf in case if the patient goes into comatose state. (Galambos 1998) Legal Standing in the Court of Law Before the enactment of (PDSA) act in U.S, there were many judgments that were given by the U.S courts in the matter related to the withdrawal of life-sustaining devices. It will be worthwhile to see their opinions on this crucial aspect. New Jersey Supreme Court held in the Quinlan case that the patient or surrogates had right to refuse ventilation device. In this case she was living in a vegetative state hence her parents exercised this right on her behalf (Quinlan 1976). Similar kind of ruling was given by the California Court in the Barber case when court ruled that physicians ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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