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LVAD Case Study

a. What facts and what precedents or legal principles might a court consider critical to determining whether physicians can legally turn off the LVAD device?
b. Is an LVAD, once implanted, a part of the patient or the patient's organ; or is it, like a ventilator, a form of life support that is routinely discontinued in accordance with the patient's wishes? How important to the court's decision on this issue is the goal of implantation to allow the patient to go home?
c. If you were the hospital administrator at the facility in which Mr. P had the device implanted, would you support the readmission of Mr. P for the purpose of disabling the device and providing comfort care?

Solution Preview

a. The facts or legal principles that a court might consider critical to determining whether physicians can legally turn off Mr. P's LVAD device, include whether or not the LVAD device resulted in a detrimental neurological condition, such as some form of dysfunction in his cognitive abilities, or a stroke, etc. In addition, if there is some form of malfunction or failure with the LVAD, the court would obviously agree with the physician's decisions to turn off the LVAD device, based on Mr. P's wishes. If Mr. P's quality of ...

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