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Ethical Issues of Ewe v. Cloth - Essay Example

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Clearly, Mrs. Ivy Ewe is in an unfortunate situation with her diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and is understandably upset by this news, as the cure rate is not overwhelmingly positive. From an ethical perspective what Dr Cloth has done can be seen as utilitarianism, "The doctrine that virtue is founded in utility, or that virtue is defined and enforced by its tendency to promote the highest happiness of the universe…
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Ethical Issues of Ewe v. Cloth
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Ethical Issues of Ewe v. Cloth Clearly, Mrs. Ivy Ewe is in an unfortunate situation with her diagnosis of non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and is understandably upset by this news, as the cure rate is not overwhelmingly positive. From an ethical perspective what Dr Cloth has done can be seen as utilitarianism, "The doctrine that virtue is founded in utility, or that virtue is defined and enforced by its tendency to promote the highest happiness of the universe. --J. S. Mill." http://dict.die.net/utilitarianism/
This is enforced his actions towards the diagnosis of the lump. He opted to give his patient Mrs Ivy Ewe the good news that her lump was benign. As the facts of the diaognosis have not been presented it is not easy to pinpoint whether Dr Cloths evaluatons was backed-up by a medical eaxmination of the lump or by pure medical assumption.
The fact that Dr. Cloth was a General Practitioner and not an Oncologist is one important consideration in this case. Doctors are human beings and do make mistakes without intending any harm to their patients. If Dr. Cloth diagnosed Mrs. Ewe's lump in good faith and believed his diagnosis to be correct, it is easy to see how utilitarianism is attached to his actions.
Another reason why it can be said that Dr Cloth adopted the ultilitarianism ethical principle is that he informed Mrs that her lump was beign, perhaps choosing to silence her fears instead of letting her face the truth. It is a known fact that cancer kills a millions of people, especially women. His actions of acting out his own human compassion is a very clear indication that DR Cloth acted with beneficence towards Mrs Ewe.

It is clear that it would have been more professional for him to advice Mrs Ewe to seek a second opnion. However this case in terms of ethical principles is not cut and dry. Dr Cloths intentions do not show any igns of being maleficence. It is without a doubt that his actions have caused some serious harm, however they were not intionally evil.
He simply adopted an ethical principle that has tuned out to be extremely costly for his patient.
Arguably one might assume that how can someone who has decreased the likelihood of their patient be considered to have acted out of beneficence. The answer lies in the definition that the person whishes to adopt. Compassion and understanding is an aspect of being a medical practioner. By acting benficence towards his patient, Dr Cloth failed to provide the necessary means to ensure her survival. That can be seen as his ultimate crime.
Another point of consideration deals with Mrs. Ewe's level of responsibility for her own health. Her own autonomy. It may have been prudent for her to seek a second opinion about her lump if it was something that concerned her. The level of trust that individuals put into their physicians does not necessarily mean that the physician is the only one that can be held accountable in a situation that turns out medically undesirable.
Bibliography
1) Proving Fault in Medical Malpractice Cases (2006), 1-3. Retrieved 03 March 2006 from World Wide Web: http://findlaw.com/medical-malpractice
2) Lazaro, R. PT, GCS, DPT (January 2004). Ethical and Legal Analysis of a Patient Case. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice, Vol. 2, No. 8.
3) Swisher L. and Krueger-Brophy C (1997). Legal and Ethical Issues in Physical Therapy. Boston MA, Butterworth-Heinemann.
4) Zonana H. MD (September 2001). American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Journal, Vol. 26, No. 3.
5) Definitions utilitarianism (2006) Retrieved 05 March 2006 from World Wide Wed: http://dict.die.net/utilitarianism/ Read More
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