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    Bioethics

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    1. In the article by Wolf, et al, it stated that "treatment directives are not useful, because patients cannot really anticipate what their preferences will be in a future medical situation, and because patients know too little about life support systems and other treatment options." How would you respond to this statement and Why?

    2. What is meant by the duty of foresee-ability? What and under what conditions may this be important?

    3. Two areas of concern in the issue of confidentiality are psychiatry and reproductive medicine -why would these to areas be any more important than any other?

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    Solution Preview

    Please see response attached, as well as one supporting article (Medical Ethics.doc) for your consideration.

    1. In the article by Wolf, et al, it stated that "treatment directives are not useful, because patients cannot really anticipate what their preferences will be in a future medical situation, and because patients know too little about life support systems and other treatment options." How would you respond to this statement and Why?

    I disagree with this sentence. It ties into the ethical principles of informed consent and respect for the autonomy of the individual (i.e., the right to make informed decisions about their own treatment; it is only an informed decision, however, when the patient has been fully informed of all available and potential treatment options by the medical profession).

    In other word, Wolf would be in violation of these ethical principles. Informed Consent is defined an informed competent patient's preference to accept or refuse medically indicated treatment. This requires information to allow a reasonable person to make prudent choices in his/her behalf. However, if left uninformed as suggested by Wolf, et al, the patient would NOT be in a position to provide informed consent for treatment.
    For more on informed consent see http://www.mcg.edu/gpi/Ethics/ph2syllabus/lessons/lesson3.htm#Informed%20Consent

    2. What is meant by the duty of foresee-ability? What and under what conditions may this be important?

    For the sake of this discussion it is best to oversimplify a bit. The potential legal liability of a business revolves around two elements: Duty and Foreseeability. Duties are those things you have agreed to do (deliver on your contracts) or those things that everyone agrees you must not do (inflict harm on someone else). Foreseeability is the ability of an ordinary person in the same circumstances to discover- and hopefully prevent - a potential problem or harm. ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution responds to the questions on various topics, such as treatment directives, life support systems, treatment options, the duty of foresee-ability, the issue of confidentiality, psychiatry and reproductive medicine. Supplemented with one article related to medical ethics.

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