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Ethical and legal issues of do not resuscitate orders - Essay Example

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Human beings are mostly more eager to live than to die. As a cardinal rule in medical treatment, medical practitioners should do no harm to the patient.
Patients come to hospital and…
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Ethical and legal issues of do not resuscitate orders
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Download file to see previous pages Who decides how and when should a terminally ill patient die? Should we or shouldn’t we prolong the life of a patient who has no hope of a having a good life in the future? What is morally right and ethical? Should the patient be made to decide whether or not he/she wants to be resuscitated or do we “play God” and decide how life should be taken away?
The issuance and the implementation of Do Not Resuscitate orders (DNR) in hospitals have been a very sensitive issue in all walks of life not just the medical sector most especially those cases involving the operating room where time is clearly of the essence and sometimes, decisions have to be made outright by the healthcare practitioners attending to the patient. In cases of patients in the OR, where there are no clear advance instructions, there is no time for healthcare practitioners to confer with the patient or his/her immediate family, thus, often times, decisions are made relying solely on the medical judgment of the attending healthcare practitioners.
As these develop, many arguments have been presented and cases have reached the courts arguing the validity and morality of a DNR most especially those involving the operating theatre. This resulted in formal attempts to define the physicians’ obligations in such cases, resulting to varied and sometimes contradicting conclusions. Consent of the patient for example, have generated different reactions in terms of legislations. The state of New York passed legislation in 1988 mandating patient consent to DNR orders [New York State Public Health Law, 1988]. However, recent joint statement by the British Medical Association, the Resuscitation Council (UK) and the Royal College of Nursing [BMA, RC (UK) RCN. 2001] in the United Kingdom did not specifically require patient consent to DNR orders. It does however ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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