A woman was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (the same d
A woman was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (the same disease… A woman was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (the same disease that Stephen Hawking has) 5 years ago. This is a condition that destroys motor nerves, making control of movement impossible, while the mind is virtually unaffected. People with motor neurone disease normally die within 4 years of diagnosis from suffocation due to the inability of the inspiratory muscles to contract. The woman’s condition has steadily declined. She is not expected to live through the month, and is worried about the pain that she will face in her final hours. She asks her doctor to give her diamorphine for pain if she begins to suffocate or choke. This will lessen her pain, but it will also hasten her death. About a week later, she falls very ill, and is having trouble breathing. s Does she have a right to make this choice, especially in view of the fact that she will be dead in a short while (say six hours)? Is this choice an extension of her autonomy? Is the short amount of time she has to live ethically relevant? Is there an ethical difference between her dying in 6 hours and dying in a week? What about a year, and how do you draw this distinction? Is the right for a patient’s self-determination powerful enough to create obligations on the part of others to aid her so that she can exercise her rights? She clearly cannot kill herself. She can’t move, but should someone be FORCED to help her, or to find someone to help her? Should the money used to care for this woman be taken into account when she is being helped? Do you think that legalizing euthanasia could create conflicts of interest for the patient/ or the doctor? Will people feel that they need to end their lives earlier to save money? Ask each student: If you were the physician, what would you do? Note: if you would pass her off to another doctor knowing he or she would do it, does this free you from you ethical obligations? Health Science Science Nursing SHARJAH LSH 2223
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