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A written analysis of an ethical dilemma in health care ethics - Essay Example

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Ethics have long been a source for discussion and debate among philosophers, sociologists, and civilians. Everyone seems to know what ethics are, but few can adequately define the term "ethics." This is due to the multitude of sources that ethics can be derived from, including religious beliefs, societal norms, upbringing and background, and personal experiences…
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A written analysis of an ethical dilemma in health care ethics
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Download file to see previous pages The health care industry is one such organisation that tries to balance individual thought and critical thinking decision-making skills with ethical guidelines set forth via laws, regulations, and company policies.
Every person, regardless of his or her chosen career or lifestyle, will eventually be forced to make a decision in an ethical dilemma. This dilemma may be as simple as whether or not to tell a friend that he or she may be getting laid off from work or as difficult as deciding whether or not a person has the sense and capability of making a decision on his or her own regarding healthcare and treatment. Doctors often face scenarios such as these often. Generally, doctors can turn to laws and legal documentation regarding how to proceed with a course of action. For example, if a woman were to go to a hospital with an extreme case of preeclampsia: do the doctors work to save her life and the life of her child, or do they respect the patient's wishes to be left alone.
In this particular scenario, several people are involved in the decision-making process; and several others hold stakes in the results of the decision once made. First, the mother has already been informed that without a caesarean, she will die. Additionally, without allowing the doctors to perform the caesarean, the mother has been informed that her baby will also die. The third group of stakeholders in this scenario is the doctors treating Mrs. M. The Doctors face the difficult decision of forcing Mrs. M to endure a terrifying and difficult procedure, or allowing Mrs. M to make a choice that may kill both herself and her baby.
Preeclampsia, sometimes called toxaemia, affects nearly five percent of all pregnancies throughout the world (Cleveland Clinic 2007); this disorder is "one of the leading causes of premature births and the difficulties that can accompany them" (Cleveland Clinic 2007, 2). This is because when a woman acquires preeclampsia her uterus becomes deprived of oxygen due to the low amounts of blood able to flow there. Some doctors believe that this spike in blood pressure is caused by poor nutrition; however to date there has been no specific cause defined.
The only known cure for preeclampsia to date is to birth the baby. However, since many cases of preeclampsia become apparent merely half-way through a pregnancy, this may not always prove to be the best or most viable option (Cleveland Clinic 2007). If too early in the pregnancy, some doctors can monitor the baby's health and attempt to let the baby stay in the womb for a longer period of time to develop more fully before being delivered. However, in this particular scenario, allowing the baby to remain inside the mother's womb was not an option. The preeclampsia had already placed both the baby and the soon-to-be mother in danger of losing their lives. Allowing the child to remain inside the mother would surely kill both mother and child.
A caesarean section is a procedure in which doctors can deliver the mother's baby "through an incision made on [her] pregnant belly" (BellyBelly 2007, 1). Essentially, rather than allow the baby to finish developing in the womb and be birthed vaginally, doctors believed that the best way to ensure safe delivery would be to cut ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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