Choose a case of a real patient with a potential ethical dilemma in end of life care

Choose a case of a real patient with a potential ethical dilemma in end of life care pertaining to withholding or withdrawing life support; or euthanasia or assisted suicide in the United States (except Nancy Cruzan, Charlie Gard or Dax Cowart). There are numerous examples in the text and on the internet.

Using the Worksheet for Ethical Decision-Making Framework to guide you, complete the introduction and all 6 steps.There is a blank word document for you to use in the Supporting Documents. You do not need to use complete sentences and it does not need to be double spaced.  Also, Step 6 asks you to assess the outcomes, but you will only be able to indicate how you would assess the outcomes.

Please Note: You are viewing this end of life dilemma as if you were the Ethics Committee and you will use ethical reasoning to achieve a recommendation.  Discussions with family and patients and doctor would have already occurred. You will thoroughly examine the situation and will follow each step in the Framework for Ethical Decision Making, using the WorksheetYour recommendation may be different than what actually occurred (for example, you may recommend keeping a patient on life support when in reality, the “real” patient was taken off life support). The purpose of the assignment is to apply ethical reasoning to a real patient dilemma at end of life.

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Completed worksheet should be at least 2-3 typed, single spaced pages. College level writing is expected but complete sentences are not required; in-text citations are also not required for this assignment.  A cover page and reference page, with at least 3 scholarly references, is required. Title page and reference page do not count for the 2-3 pages of content.

Worksheet for Ethical Decision-Making Framework

Introduction: Cite the case that you are using. Describe the situation and the ethical dilemma

a. What patient situation are you researching? Please describe and discuss the individual and the situation.

b. Identify and discuss the ethical dilemma in this case (ie, withholding, withdrawing, assisted suicide, etc.)

Step 1: Identify ethical issues

Identify and discuss the ethical issue(s) involved with this situation (based on 7 ethical/universal principles); other ethical issues?

Step 2: Gather the facts

What are the facts and circumstances? Are there any formal or informal opinions in the media or elsewhere? What are the legal ramifications? Has this issue been decided by the courts before or did it result in new legal direction/new laws?

Step 3: Consider at least two options to address dilemma

Process calls for at least 3 options but for this assignment, 2 are sufficient. With 2 options, they are generally polar opposites, such as to do x or not to do x; need to be credible

Step 4: Weigh and evaluate the potential options

Consider these possible alternatives by analyzing the ethical arguments for and against each action, as well as their possible outcomes.

Option 1:

Arguments for:

 

Arguments against:

 

 

Option 2:

Arguments for:

 

Arguments against:

 

Step 4a: Ethical Theory

What ethical theory (ie, duty oriented or utilitarianism) are you going to use to make the choice? Please discuss/describe the theory. Why are you using this theory?

Step 5: Decide and act. What is your decision and why?

Make your decision. Justify your rationale. Determine action.

Step 6: How would you assess outcomes

How would you, as the Ethics Committee, assess and evaluate both the process and outcomes of your ethical decision making in order to track creative solutions, unanticipated consequences, and overall satisfaction with the results of the plan of action by all of the parties involved?

Worksheet for Ethical Decision-Making Framework

 

Introduction: Cite the case that you are using. Describe the situation and the ethical dilemma

Step 1: Identify ethical issues

Step 2: Gather the facts
Step 3: Consider at least two options to address dilemma
Step 4: Weigh and evaluate the potential options
Option 1:

Arguments for:

Arguments against:

 

 

Option 2:
Arguments for:
Arguments against:
Step 4a: Ethical Theory

Step 5: Decide and act. What is your decision and why?
Step 6: How would you assess outcomes?