Sample Critical Thinking On Blood Transfusion And The Jehovah Witness
Ethical questions and ethical dilemmas often happen in the healthcare system and subsequently affect healthcare quality, professional action, and user autonomy. There is the need to assess the application of bioethical concerns and the application of technoscience in the entire field of healthcare provision and emergency situations. One such important case is in the case of blood transfusion in Jehovah’s Witnesses. The freedom of assembly is granted in the constitution and gives people the freedom to believe and as well allows the existence of religious worship. It also offers protection of worship places. As such, the JW beliefs are granted by the constitution. The JW faith does not allow the idea of blood transfusion (Sundean & McGrath, 2013). There are various biblical references which they base their faith on. Such scriptures are in the book of Genesis and Leviticus. These scriptures direct the faithful not to eat meat for the belief that it has a soul. It also recommends that assimilation of blood in the organism by way of the mouth or way of veins constitutes the violation of the law. According to this belief, it is believed that the human soul is in the blood, and it is unacceptable to pass it from one person to the other. This belief is supposed to be followed by all faithful (Doyle, 2002). Thus, when any JW refuses the blood transfusion, the doctor is lost in a dilemma on whether to honor the patient's autonomy and the legal devices that govern blood transfusion or not.
Diagnose the Ethical Dilemma
Early Friday morning and a patient is admitted to the intensive care unit. After a diagnosis, the doctor says that the accident that the Mr. Sanchez has been involved in resulted to a lot of bleedings and that the patient needs a blood transfusion. But quickly the family members of the patient object this suggestion. After some consultation, the family refutes the idea of a blood transfusion on the basis that they are believers of the Jehovah witnesses’ faith. According to their faith, it is not allowed for one to receive a blood transfusion. This issue raises a lot of confusion in the hospital as the patient was in critical condition, and if the patient does not receive the transfusion then he might lose his life.
As the doctors sat down to deliberate this issue, they are faced with a serious ethical dilemma. Two major ethical principles are important when analyzing this decision and making a decision on it. One of these principles is the principle of paternalism (Groll, 2014). According to this principle, the health care provider knows what is best for the patient, and they are supposed just to do what is right. It has well been argued that the application of paternalism should fast consider if there are other available solutions to the problem. There are some cases that do not justify the application of this principle. In this case, therefore, the doctor is left to decide whether to apply this principle or leave it. Beneficence is also another obligation that the doctor needs to consider. According to this principle, one's action should benefit the others. According to this situation, the actions that one takes should remove harm or improve the other people's welfare. In its application in the clinical environments, physicians are supposed to refrain from causing any harm. At the same time, they have an obligation to help the patients. At times, it falls on Ethicist that they have to distinguish between ideal beneficence and an obligatory beneficence. According to ideal beneficence, the actions one takes are extreme and always try to benefit others in all possible ways. Physicians are not expected to live up to all the broad definition of beneficence, but at the same time the major goal of medicine is to promote the welfare of the patient. This is what brings a lot of consideration when it comes to this situation. The welfare of the patients is important since doing a blood transfusion will only mean that the doctors have gone against his faith. At the same time leaving him like that will lead to his death (Taylor, 2011).
Implementation and evaluate Decision
At the time closed in the doctors, and the nurses had no choice and they had to make a decision. It was only about an hour, and the patient would have lost his life. He was already in a critical condition by this time, and they needed something to be done. Finally, the doctor came to the decision that they have to make the transfusion. This was a tight decision, but it had to be taken. After the blood transfusion, the patient survived and was discharged from the hospital. Soon after discharge the patient and the family came back to the hospital alleging that the hospital went against the patient’s faith. But the doctor argued that it still there responsibility not to do harm to the patient. They are also expected to make the patient's condition better. After a lengthy discussion, Mr. Sanchez and the family left the hospital. Though the church threatened to excommunicate him, we heard later that they allowed him back after analyzing the weight of the situation in the hospital. This was a tight decision to make but after analyzing this situation again the doctor realized that they made the right decision.
Application to my Career
In the daily practice of medical service, healthcare providers are faced with various issues that often require the use of the various ethical principles. It is important that any medical practitioner learns how to apply this principle in their practice. This principle always helps to represent the right decision as seen in the case just analyzed. As I advance in my career, I need to get well versed with the application of these ethical principles. Learning how to apply these principles in difficult situations will help me make fair and proper discussions. Learning the application of the principle in all situation at my practice will not only make me be a good nurse, but will also help me to advocate the patients in a difficult situation.
Bassford, H. (1982). The justification of medical paternalism. Social Science & Medicine, 16(6), 731-739.
Doyle, D. (2002). Blood Transfusions and the Jehovah's Witness Patient. American Journal Of Therapeutics, 9(5), 417-424.
Groll, D. (2014). Medical Paternalism - Part 1. Philosophy Compass, 9(3), 186-193.
Sundean, L., & McGrath, J. (2013). Ethical Considerations in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Newborn And Infant Nursing Reviews, 13(3), 117-120
Taylor, C. R., Lillis, C., LeMone, P., & Lynn, P. (2011). Fundamentals of nursing (7th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health, Lippincott Williams & Wilkin.