Ethical Issues In Care Essay

Decent Essays
The phenomenon of death is a complex event wrought with controversy both medically and legally. Because the organ systems do not shut down all at once, it is difficult to determine the exact moment of death or the decide how the laws apply to the deceased individual. Although the advancement of medical knowledge and technology significantly decreases errors in when to call the time of death; it has also, paradoxically, increased ethical problems between families and doctors. Since the limitations of modern treatments are not well known to the public, families sometimes continue to demand intervention for recently deceased patients against physician recommendations or patient wishes. Moreover, the laws and hospital policies provide poor guidance for handling complaints, and thusly cannot adequately resolve disputes due to vast inconsistencies. To ensure the protection of patient and family wishes without overriding the physician's medical decisions, hospitals need to improve the funding, staffing, and organization of their ethics committees. By doing so, these committees can resolve disputes more effectively before they result in costly legal battles.
Before examining hospital policies, death laws, and the uses of
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An article discussing family demands from the journal Neurocritical Care notes that along with some Christian denominations, "Japanese Shinto, Orthodox Jew, Buddhist, Muslim, and Native American populations are prone to noting religious objections to [brain death]" (Lewis, et al., Prolonging). Furthermore, the researchers noted that "physicians may comply with these requests because they wish to avoid conflict, but they also may reject such requests because hospitals are facilities for the living to receive necessary medical care, not for the dead to be maintained" (Lewis, et al.,
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