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Law and Ethics in Health Care - Type : Case Study - Essay Example

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Intensive care service is often faced with the rationing and triage of resources.(American Thoracic Society Statement, 1997) Rationing of intensive care is influenced by factors such as clinical judgment, patient and family preferences and evidence of therapeutic…
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Law and Ethics in Health Care - Type : Case Study
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Download file to see previous pages t patients should be admitted on first-come, first-served basis driven by the egalitarian principle of fair allocation of resources instead of on the basis of relative benefit. Triaging refers to allocation of resources based on relative medical benefit keeping in view the patient’s illness and urgency. (Lemaire and Ferrand, 1998)
In the instant case, Paul had already arrived in collapsed condition and had been awaiting treatment for Thrombolytic therapy before the arrival of Mrs Mary with the complaints of pneumonia and diabetic ketoacidosis. Hospital administration has considered the policy of first-come, first-served basis if both the patients are equally serious. In this case, though both are equally serious, Paul needs to be intubated for which intensive care unit admission is a pre-requisite. If he had been brought in brain-dead condition, ICU for him would have been a waste of hospital resources which can be more beneficially allotted to the other deserving patient Mary. Here the ethical consideration for nursing staff is driven by the code of ethics prescribed for them by the American Nurses Association. (Nursing Ethics) This situation of non availability of sufficient beds in the hospital places nurses on equal footing along with hospital administration and doctors who invariably have to decide on the basis of triage. There may be a suggestion that Paul being old almost at the last leg of his life with the history of cardiac complication does not qualify for the scarce ICU allocation when compared with the young mother of a five year-old child. However, the use of age as a determinant along with the prognosis of death at the hospital is a clear bias against the elderly qualifying for ICU allocations. This is morally incorrect when there is no societal consensus for such a position. American society has no such limitations in providing health care services to the elderly people. There is no denial of medical coverage for End-Stage-Renal-Disease (ESRD) or ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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