Health Care Ethics

The reading described the ″four elements of the moral event″ which will be important for your synthesis paper, note pages 271-273. using Edmund Pellegrino’s schema of the four elements of the moral event (as described in the article you just read above), analyze the case given below by 1) describing significant factors in each of the elements of the event (i.e., agent, act, circumstances and consequences); also 2) having made explicit all of the ethically relevant factors in the situation, make an argument as to what a sound course of action would be, and under whose agency. Be aware of how your own experiences, values, perspectives and interests affect your ability to discuss this case! The Case: 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 the actor 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 pressure 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, should 1) the surgeons decide to perform the procedure without consent, should 2) they do nothing except keep her under supervision in the hospital or 3) should they allow her to leave if she chooses to?

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