Free Medical Background Case Study Sample
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The case study herein illustrates the fascinating convolution of a practitioners’ decision to disclose critical information. The case is used as the springboard to discuss and analyze theoretical issues that are related to truth-telling. The paper with, hence draw from two major ethical theories and several moral principles to examine the ethical implications associated with the scenario.
Kate, 20-year-old lady, approaches the transplant centre appealing that she would like to donate her kidney to her father Mr. Jones. Kate appears to be highly motivated to proceed with the donation. She is health and medically suitable for the donation. Mr. Jones, her father and the potential recipient is 50 years of age and has polycystic kidney complications. The man has been on dialysis for the last 5 months and it has been noticed that her strength is worsening and does not feel well on dialysis. The doctors have considered kidney transplantation as the best treatment for Mr. Jones’ end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
In relation, the waiting period for a cadaveric transplant goes for roughly four to six years and the results from surviving donors are better compared to those of cadaveric donors. After a HLA testing, the results showed Kate and Mr. Jones to have a one-antigen match meaning they are not genetically related. The test was repeated and the results were confirmed. Both father and daughter could not give an indication of believe that they were not blood relatives. There was to test to establish paternity and from medical perspective the results do not preclude the daughter from donating to Mr. Jones.
Kate is a fulltime student living with Mr. Jones (he presumed father) and her stepmother. She was born abroad and her parents were not married and when they separated Mr. Jones immigrated to North America with Kate. Ever since, Kate had no contact with the birth mother. Mr. Jones married seven years ago and Kate indicates to have no problem with either her father or step mother.
Moral dilemma sets in when an agent is morally required to engage in two or more actions but he/she is obliged to do other(s). The main dilemma in the case scenario lies on the operating team. Whether the team should disclose or fail to disclose the non paternity to Kate and her presumed dad. Should the team disclose the unimagined findings to their patients and thereby fulfill one set of their duties? Or should they withhold the vital information thereby fulfilling another set of duties. The moral dilemma in the case is found where the weights of competing duties pull evenly on converse directions.
Kant is generally credited with a lot of introductory principals in the development of deontology and deontological approach. Kant establishes the ability of human beings to reason is founded on our status as moral agents. As such, Kant’s ethical theory remains exceedingly influential and presents the account of moral obligation. For an action to be morally worth and to reflect goodwill there must be an act done for duty’s sake and not for any other reason. The complication in the case study sets in when the question of whether the team should disclose or fail to disclose the non paternity to Kate and her presumed dad arises. As well as, whether the team of operators should disclose the unimagined findings to their patients and thereby fulfill one set of their duties. In keeping with Kant, moral principles do not rest on contingencies that define an act as right or wrong in any given situation.
Kant acknowledges that moral rules can be established as a result of principle and are not necessarily based on observation. Nothing is good unless it is done for a good will. An approach to goodwill follows the use of intelligence, self control, happiness, and courage to propagate moral responsibility. Arguably, good will is good not because of its attainment of some proposed end but due to its virtue of volition. Moral worth in this case can only be derived from the doctors’ actions when in the line of duty. As such duty determines human beings moral worth and can only be derived when they act from duty.
Biblical/Religious Guidance Approach
Even though it can be considered morally right for doctors to tell the truth, in many cases it is unclear on what constitutes the truth in any given context. Arguably, the doctors have prima facie responsibility to reveal relevant true information that the patients reasonably anticipates to be told. The Principals of Medical Ethics which states that physicians must remain true and honest in all professional interactions and more so, a physician should strive to report other physicians who engage in deception to suitable entities are overly misguided.
Though generally desirable, honesty is not always the best policy. The responsibility to reveal and tell the truth is no absolute and there are moral considerations that can outweigh the truth. These are the obligations not to cause great and preventable destruction. Overly, there are cases with equally compelling reasons to either disclose or withhold information. In a case where moral agents suspect moral dilemma, morally relevant considerations must not be omitted and justification for the preferred position must be well-argued. Conclusively, open discussion with colleagues from diverse personal and professional backgrounds is fundamental in order to get diverse viewpoints.
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Kaan, T. & Liu, E. Life sciences: law and ethics: recent developments in Singapore. Singapore: Jointly published by Singapore Academy of Law and Bioethics Advisory Committee. 2006
Kosny, Agnieszka, Ellen MacEachen, Marni Lifshen, Peter Smith, Gul J. Jafri, Cynthia Neilson, Diana Pugliese, and John Shields. "Delicate Dances: Immigrant Workers' Experiences of Injury Reporting and Claim Filing." Ethnicity & Health, 2012. doi:10.1080/13557858.2011.614327.
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