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Consent to terminate care

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Discuss the ethical implications of the Terri Schiavo case. Be sure to identify and discuss competing rights and interests as well as applicable ethical theories and principles. Also, discuss the right of the husband versus her parents in the context of consent to terminate care.

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1. Discuss the ethical implications of the Terri Schiavo case. Be sure to identify and discuss competing rights and interests as well as applicable ethical theories and principles. Also, discuss the right of the husband versus her parents in the context of consent to terminate care.

There were several ethical issues. One issue was concerning the right to die with dignity and whether it applies without a written advanced directive (Terry did not have her wishes in writing, but her husband claims that she had verbally directed him that she would not want to live like that, so this is considered consent to termination of care), did the husband or parents have the right to make the final decision about removing the feeding tube or not removing the feeding tube. There were competing rights and interests in this case: Terry's right to live or right to die with dignity (based on her husband's testimony that Terry had verbally expressed her wishes if something like this happened "I would not want to live like that"); the parents rights to make decisions upholding the values she had been raised with (The right to live vs. the right to die), as removing the feeding tube is murder). The parents and family did not believe that Terry had actually verbally informed her husband to remove the feeding tube if something like this happened. They accused him of lying so he could get on with his new life with his new family.

The feeding tube is both an ethical and moral issue and controversial as some argue that removing the feeding tube is both ethically and morally wrong, while others argue the exact opposite. On one side was Terry's parents and family, who believed that removing the feeding tube is considered wrong because Terry was living on her own, and food and water is sustenance and it thereof considered suicide or murder to ...

Solution Summary

Discusses the ethical implications of the Terri Schiavo case, including identifying and discussing competing rights and interests as well as applicable ethical theories and principles. It also discusses the right of the husband versus her parents in the context of consent to terminate care.

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See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Case of Informed Consent: Mrs. Sparza

Mrs. Sparza, a 70 year old grandmother with little English skills, is scheduled for surgery of her right eye. Upon entry to the hospital, she and her son review the general admission documents and Mrs. Sparza signs them all. Mrs. Sparza also completed and executed a durable power of attorney for health care. Mrs. Sparza identified her daughter and son as her agents for decision making in the event that she became incapacitated. Mrs. Sparza also specified that she did not wish any heroic measures and that in the event she went into a coma, she wanted the life support terminated.

After changing into a patient gown and having her vital signs taken, Mrs. Sparza is taken into the pre-operative room where she is placed on a gurney. After administration of pre-operative muscle relaxant medication, she is rolled into the operating room. Upon entering the operating room, Mrs. Sparza is greeted by Nurse Johnson who asks Mrs. Sparza to sign the surgical consent form. The form is in English and identifies the procedure as surgery of both eyes. Mrs. Sparza is told that she is scheduled for surgery of both eyes and is asked to sign the consent.

When Mrs. Sparza objects and refuses, Dr. Pinnette enters in his green scrubbs and talks with Mrs. Sparza with the aid of an interpreter. After a minute of conversation, with tears in her eyes, Mrs. Sparza signs the consent form and is placed under general anesthesia. At six a.m., on the next day of her hospitalization, Mrs. Sparza suffers a heart attack and her kidneys ceased function. She subsequently went into a coma. Her children were immediately notified and arrived at the hospital at 8:30 a.m. When informed of the doctor's decision to place Mrs. Sparza on a dialysis machine, the son and daughter declined consent and asked that life-support be terminated pursuant to the patient's directive.

Mrs. Sparza's cardiologist, a world renown cardiac surgeon, refused to give the nurses the order to terminate life-support. Dr. Lox looked for every excuse to avoid the family. At the family's request, Mrs. Sparza's nurses provided comfort care until 3:30 in the afternoon of the next day. The two day ordeal was a long and emotionally traumatic experience for Mrs. Sparza's family, who received relief when Mrs. Sparza's nurse injected a fatal dose of morphine to ease and expedite her death.

Evaluate and discuss the legal implications of the actions in the foregoing scenario in light of the module materials and your own research. Please be thorough in responding in an organized paper to the following:

What are the elements of informed consent?

Was Mrs. Sparza's consent proper? Why/Why not?

What were Mrs. Sparza's rights regarding end-of-life decision making?

Discuss the nature of the act of injecting morphine. Was it legal?

Limit your response to a maximum of four pages. Be sure to properly and clearly cite your resources.

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