Analysis of STATE OF TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES V. MARY C. NORTHERN
Mary C. Northern Health Condition
Mary C. Northern is in a condition that requires immediate attention; she has been infected with gangrene. She is admitted to Nashville General Hospital. According to the physicians in the institution, Mary has no option rather than going through a surgery that involves the removal of her feet. However, she is given a chance to choose what fit she feels is ok for her life. She argues that she is doing well with her current condition and that she is recovering. On the contrary, the hospital feels that Mary’s decision is vague, and it seems she does not understand the seriousness of the whole situation. To understand the fit of Mary C. Northern, various respondents need to be consulted starting with herself, guardian and item, court, and at last make a conclusion of whether to go on with the surgery or not on the basis of bioethics principles.
According to the respondent through the Guardian and the item, the patient says that she feels comfortable with her current condition. She continues to say that she is recovering after comparing her past and her current health condition. From the way she answers the question and supports her argument, she is thought to be of sound mind, intelligent and coherent. However, the physicians tend to disagree with her decision. According to her, her feet are black due to dirt and soot. She fails to consider physicians point of view which are supported by evidence and diagnoses. At first, physicians thought she could contemplate the seriousness of the condition she is in and, as a result, come up with a firm decision about her health.
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On the contrary, the physicians conclude that she is incompetent to make a decision that favors her life.
Also, the court intervenes; it aims to settle the dispute using laws and policies that will support both parties and especially the patient. The court supports the physician’s point of view by advocating for the surgery. It says that only amputation of the feet can treat gangrene. On the other hand, the court notifies the patient of the possibility of surviving with amputation and without amputation. Though, the surgery may encounter some challenges of complications, the highest chance of surviving calls for the amputation. The main aim of revealing the possibilities is to set the mind of the patient and encourage her to make a decision without fear of the consequences.
Also, the four principles of bioethics can easily fit in the chosen case study. First, respect for anatomy applies where the patient is given a chance to decide what she feels will favor her health (Steinbock, London, and Arras, 2013). Secondly, the principle of beneficence occurs where the physicians balance the benefits of the surgery with the possible risks. Always, any measure taken in health care should favor the patient most. Next, the principle of nonmaleficence supports the fact that the patient should not be subjected to any form of harm. Even if all treatments are considered to be harmful, they should not surpass the main objective of benefiting the patient. Lastly, the principle of justice holds that cost of treatment; risks and benefits should be distributed fairly due treatment (Steinbock, London, and Arras, 2013). Physicians in charge of Mary’s treatment addresses all issues that may arise with the surgery and hence concluding that amputation is the only way of saving Mary.
In conclusion, Mary has no other option rather than accepting the surgery unless she wants t die. It is clear she does not want to lose her life, but she wants to avoid the treatment. However, she may not be able to survive for long since the decease is growing and continuing to destroy her body tissues. Through, the treatment may have some challenges; it has the highest percentage of helping her recover and regain a normal life.
Steinbock, B., London, A.J., and Arras, J.D. (2013). Ethical issues in modern medicine: Contemporary Readings in Bioethics (8th ed.). [Vital Source Bookshelf]. Retrieved from http://online.vitalsource.com/.
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