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End of Life Decisions [WLOs: 1, 2, 3] [CLOs: 1, 3, 7] Prior to beginning work on this discussion forum, Read Chapter 18 in your textbook. Read the article

End of Life Decisions [WLOs: 1, 2, 3] [CLOs: 1, 3, 7]

Prior to beginning work on this discussion forum,

  • Read Chapter 18 in your textbook.
  • Read the article Ethical Issues Surrounding End-of-Life Care: A Narrative Review.
  • Watch the videos:
    • Making End of Life Care MatterLinks to an external site.
    • Legal and Ethical Aspects of Palliative Care: Addressing Consent and Decision-Making ChallengesLinks to an external site.
    • Introduction to Bioethics: Bioethics at the End of LifeLinks to an external site.

Decisions surrounding end of life care for patients can be difficult and daunting for families and caregivers. Additionally, for clinical and administrative caregivers, the added stress of “doing the right thing,” or following legal protocols often induces additional stress and self-reflection. Consequently, caregivers and patients often struggle between quality-of-life verses extension of life. Medical technologies are used to provide an extension of life; however, questions persist as quality of life is weighed. Pozgar (2023) states,

the human struggle to survive and dreams of immortality have long been instrumental in inspiring medicine to develop the means to prevent and cure illness. Advances in medical technology have resulted in the power to prolong a productive life, as well as to delay inevitable death. Those victims of long-term pain and suffering, as well as patients in vegetative states and irreversible comas, are mostly directly affected. (p. 487)

This week we will examine how ethical decision-making processes and patient autonomy are associated with end of life decisions in the health care delivery system. It is important to note that Pozgar (2023) suggests,

medical ethics does not require that a patient’s life be preserved at all costs and in all circumstances. Competent patients may decide whether a particular medical treatment is in their best interest without conflicting with the ethical integrity of the medical profession. (p. 487)

It is vital that the health care delivery system provide patient autonomy as a single aspect of “duty to choose.” In other words, the right to be free from restraint or interference from others to choose the best course of action for self is protected under common law.

In this week’s discussion, address the following from the Pozgar text. Your post should be a minimum of 500 words. In your discussion,

  • Discuss the human struggle to survive and the right to autonomous decision-making.
  • Describe how patient autonomy has been impacted by case law and legislative enactments.
  • Explain end of life issues as they relate to autopsy, organ donation, research, experimentation, and clinical trials.
  • Describe how human genetics and stem cell research can have an impact on end of life issues.
  • Define the following terms: preservation of life with limits, euthanasia, advanced directives, futility of treatment, withholding and withdraw of treatment, and do-not-resuscitate orders.

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