Feeding Tube Refusal Dilemma Essay

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Feeding Tube Refusal Dilemma A 28 year old female with cerebral palsy and debilitating arthritis is in the hospital for treatment. She is immobile and unable to perform basic tasks on her own. Due to her condition, she is having trouble eating and in order to help, the doctor believes that a feeding tube (PEG tube) should be surgically inserted. When told about the treatment, the patient refuses surgery. She is deemed competent and understands her situation. In this situation, I propose that the care team should respect the wishes of the patient and let her die. It is clearly stated that the patient is autonomous and aware of the potential risks of refusing treatment. She is willing to accept the fact that if she does not receive the feeding tube, she will die of malnutrition. In addition, she is not consenting to the surgery and they cannot legally force her to accept treatment to have the PEG tube inserted. The conditions for consent include competence, understanding and appreciation of information, and voluntariness free from coercion, and undue influence (Young, Ch. 44). She has fulfilled the requirements for competence because the care team acknowledges that the patient recognizes that there is a decision that needs to be made, clearly understands the information and treatment options, and the risks involved with each decision (Orr, CBHD). There is no question that the patient understands and appreciates the information because the care team is aware that she is able
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