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Ethical issues on end of life care - Term Paper Example

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The article makes a profound research and shows that as against ordinary medicine’s goal of extending life, hospice and other palliative care hugely help terminally ill patients to have quality life that is cherished by family and facilitates peaceful death…
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Ethical issues on end of life care
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Download file to see previous pages This paper discusses the ethical issues concerned with terminally ill patients. It is an important issue that must be discussed convincingly to make last days of the patients fulfilling. In the recent times, the ethical issues on end of life care have increasingly become much more important than being major concern for increasing Medicare bills or the inability of medicines to provide the palliative care that patients deserve in their last days of lives. The author has cited the case of Sara Monopoli, who was pregnant and at the last stages was diagnosed with metastatic cancer that is incurable. The exhaustive treatment that she underwent was testament to the deteriorating quality of her life. Apart from the huge Medicare expenses, the author rightly questions the efficacy of a system that deprives patients of the right to die in dignity and gives them hope when none exist. Author has referred Harvard Researcher, Nicholas Christakis who had interviewed doctors of nearly five hundred terminally ill patients as to how long they expected their patients to survive and then followed the progress of the patients. Sixty three percent over-estimated the time. It was revealed that though doctors were aware of the futility of medicines but they could not tell the same to the patients and made them undergo treatments which could, if at all, only slightly prolong their lives. They also knew that quality of lives of patients would be adversely impacted by the treatment but they went ahead just because the patients wanted them. Indeed, the doctors’ inability or deliberate intention to with-held the important issue that death is imminent and quality of life would be impacted is wrong. According to Act Utilitarian of Bentham, action which results in the happiness of one and all is a good act. ‘When choosing a course of action, one should always pick the one that will maximize happiness and minimize unhappiness for the greatest number of people’ (Bentham from Rosenstand p.176). While the doctors and surgeons knew that with incurable conditions, it was a long medical struggle with death being imminent, they did not try to discuss as to how one would wish to live last days. Interestingly Kant’s moral philosophy is a case in point as he asserts that people rationalize their actions according to what they deem as morally good (Schneewind, 1990). Hence, under the circumstances, it seems that doctors under medical oath, deemed it morally right to talk about death when it could be prolonged. The article has carried lot of research and shows that as against ordinary medicine’s goal of extending life, hospice and other palliative care hugely help terminally ill patients to have quality life that is cherished by family and facilitates peaceful death. Most importantly, the family and carers have less cases of depression after the death of the dear ones when they die in the hospital’s intensive care unit, burdened with technology driven aids and devices. The Hospice makes effort to reduce pain at the last stages but just try to ensure that they have ‘fullest possible lives’ with their family and friends. As author asserts that death only comes once, hence, dignity in death must be observed or discussed with family and ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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