The Ethical Decision Making For Critically Ill Children

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Despite of the increasing knowledge in healthcare and bioethics, care for critically ill children remains understudied in Canadian context. The prevailing theories in ethics of justice do not address adequately the complex moral problems involved in the care of vulnerable children. Patients often find themselves in a distress in facing a tragic dilemma with two unlikely options. In a tragic dilemma, patient must find meanings in the specific case and with the guidance of health care professionals and bioethics in making informed choices that reflect their values and beliefs. Using ethical concepts and theories, I will discuss the complex case of Mary Jane Peirce and formulate a comprehensive ethical decision using the Mcdonald’s Ethical …show more content…

Subsequently, the court granted a temporary injunction to allow the parents to care for their child (“Mary Jane Case adjourned”, 2015).
Feasible Alternatives of Treatment and Care
The existing North American legal norms recognize parents as children’s guardians and therefore the legitimate decision-maker (Carnevale, 2007). However, parental authority is not absolute as the government has the right to intervene in the cases of neglect or abuse ( Carnevale, 2007). The ministry should have determined if the parents are competent to act as the primary decision-maker before making an action. Once their competence is tested, legal guardian must then decide for the best interest of the child. On one hand, full resuscitation measures could be maintained to ensure Mary Jane’s survival and try to reduce permanent injury much as possible. On the other hand, therapy could be partially or fully limited. The parents can decide to limit any form of treatment or to discontinue all current treatment on the basis that it is inflicting harm without a reasonable prospect of benefit. Thus, the parents face a dilemma: to continue all resuscitating treatment and hope for Mary Jane’s best possible recovery or withdraw life support and allow her to die.
Evaluating Alternatives Using Ethics Resources
The Feasible Options are supported by three different

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