Category Archives: Articles

Hospital Ethics Committee Failure Standard

Being right does not make a decision morally correct. The patient, a 98 year old man was suffering from a dissecting aortic aneurysm of 7.5 cm. He was unresponsive and near death. He previously, and with unquestioned capacity, executed an advance health directive indicating that he refused surgery. He also had previously told his physician that he would rather die than to face the probable mental and physical damage and quality of life deterioration that would accompany such damage.  Without question, principles of clinical bioethics would demand respect for the patient’s wishes and directives. In this instance, the patient’s spouse…

Autonomy: The Patient is the Patient – the family isn’t Standard

    Many patients facing illness or disease that places their lives at risk do not generally ask why their life is at an end. Instead they often ask, “Why did I live at all?”  “What difference did my life make? It is remarkable how disempowered one feels when seriously ill. Dr Paulina Taboada, describes it:      “Indeed, perhaps the most devastating aspect of despair is the inability to find meaning.”      When we become weak, confused and exhausted we often enter into a void where our thoughts and decisions are distanced from us. As football coach Vince Lombardi said,…