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Ethical Medical case study
Ethical cade study:
A woman enters the emergency room with stomach pain. She undergoes a CT scan and is diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm, a weakening in the wall of the aorta
which causes it to stretch and bulge (this is very similar to what led to John Ritter’s death). The physicians inform her that the only way to fix the problem is
surgically, and that the chances of survival are about 50/50. They also inform her that time is of the essence, and that should the aneurysm burst, she would be dead
in a few short minutes. The woman is an erotic dancer; she worries that the surgery will leave a scar that will negatively affect her work; therefore, she refuses any
surgical treatment. Even after much pressuring from the physicians, she adamantly refuses surgery. Feeling that the woman is not in her correct state of mind and
knowing that time is of the essence, the surgeons decide to perform the procedure without consent. They anesthetize her and surgically repair the aneurysm. She
survives, and sues the hospital for millions of dollars.
Ethics essay guide lines:
For the ethics part (about 80% of the essay)
Use the framework of the principles and Utilitarianism and/or Deontology and analyse the case. Apply all the relevant principles to the case and explore the direction
towards which these principles would send you/ the guidance that they would offer you.
-The principle of respect for autonomy
-The principle of beneficence
-The principle of non-maleficence
-The principle of justice
Explore the possible conflicts of principles and discuss possible paternalistic intervention.
Present a critical description of the theoretical considerations that you are appealing to.
You may want to offer a critical description of principles before you use them to analyse the scenario chosen, but it may be even better if you integrate your critical
review of the principles in your discussion and analysis of the scenario.
For the law part( 20% of the essay)
Decide which aspect of the law is relevant to your scenario and discuss the relevant law in relation to the scenario.
Criminal Law and Civil Law:
• Prosecution usually by the State
• Judge and jury often involved
• Guilt must be proved beyond reasonable doubt
• Successful prosecution usually results in punishment
• Almost all criminal laws are statutory (common law principles rarely applied in criminal cases)
• Action brought by the affected individual
• Judges usually sit without a jury
• Case must be proved on the balance of probabilities
• Successful outcome usually results in an award of damages (compensation)
Common law is civil law
Include in the essay a sort answer to the following question and integrate them when you analyse the four principles.
Do you believe that the physician’s actions can be justified in any way?
• Is there anything else that they could have done?
• Is it ever right to take away someone’s autonomy? (Would a court order make the physicians’ decisions ethical?)
• What would you do if you were one of the health care workers?
A case scenario is chosen which can be analysed using theory from ethics and law learned.
Relevant ethical principles and law are identified and their explanation is clear and concise.
Application of the principles (and theories) as well as of relevant law to the scenario is clear and concise.
A critical appreciation of the principles approach and, if used, the theories is undertaken.
Written presentation is clear and accurate
References minimum 8 references are relevant and accurate
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