Case Study Example

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Ahmed, who comes from a Shite Muslim Arab-American family, suffered a massive heart attack, and as a result, his brain activity is reduced to marginal. He is now in an Intensive Care Unit of the local community hospital and could breathe only with the assistance of a…
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Download file to see previous pages Ahmed. It is not possible to cure Mr. Ahmed. Under these circumstances, Nurse Janet Simpson suggested the family members to talk with Dr. Hopkins and the staff Imam from pastoral care sitting in a conference room. The Imam explained to Doctor Hopkins that according to their religious belief, cessation of brain activity is not considered as death of a human being. At the same time, the Imam explained the family members that according to the medical staff, very soon Mr. Ahmed’s brain would cease functioning. It would be considered as death, even though cardiovascular system might still function. As time passed, Mr. Ahmed became a brain dead person. Dr. Hopkins again approached the family with the same request, to turn off the ventilator. However, family members did not agree to it, and Nurse Simpson also reminded Dr. Hopkins about what the Imam said. Dr. Hopkins was in a quandary. She answered the Nurse; “By the death, we mean brain death and that is the law”.
Shite religious beliefs do not consider that the cessation of brain activity is death of a human being. This is Mr. Ahmed’s familys religious belief. This is client’s autonomy. This is client’s family’s autonomy. Dr. Hopkins, as a physician understands that she has to fulfill her medical duty by turning off the ventilator, because the patient is a brain dead person. This is Dr. Hopkins autonomy as a physician. She cannot exercise this autonomy. Her act may be classified as malfeasance, or considered to be against the beneficences to Mr. Ahmed and his family.
The dilemma is a situation in which the choices of one of two opposing decisions are equally difficult. Dr. Hopkins choice is to turn off the ventilator or stay with the Shite religious belief. She understands that Mr. Ahmed medically is a dead person. Keeping the ventilator on she cannot perform a miracle. At the same time, she understands she has to follow Shite Muslim cultural tradition. Dr. Hopkins ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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