Friday, September 13, 2019

Brain Death Scenario Term Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

Brain Death Scenario - Term Paper Example The battle intensifies and begins to disrupt the medical and nursing staff. Thesis Brain death is a physiological condition which is underpinned by heavy legal, ethical and medical implications and must therefore be handled with a wholesome and informed approach. Purpose of the paper The purpose of this paper is to discuss the ethical, legal and medical implications that surround brain death, and to divulge on how physicians should handle brain death. a) Ethical Issues Surrounding the Situation One of the ethical issues is that of organ donation or harvesting. The law consents that organs can be harvested from patients who are brain dead, provided that all provisions specified within the law are observed. This is because, brain death can lead to legal death despite the patient’s heartbeats and respiration being sustained through mechanical ventilation, thereby making the sustenance of vital organs for organ transplantation very possible. In this case, it is impossible to carry out organ harvesting since the patient’s brain death has not been conclusively established. This failure to establish the patient’s status precludes the law of any jurisdiction since all laws only give injunctions on where the patient’s status is clear. Thus, whether the patient is an automatic donor or not does not yet apply. In almost the same wavelength, organ transplant cannot be carried out because the consent of the next-of-kin or family members is a prerequisite for organ donation, if the patient had previously not stated his desire to be a donor. Nonetheless, even in this case, organ harvesting and donation will be ethically impossible since the patient’s family members are in total disagreement (Dubler, 2011). Another ethical twist to this matter concerns the scarcity of healthcare or medical resources. Because healthcare or medical resources are scarce and barely able to satisfy its large demand, there is pressure that such resources are extend ed to only viable cases. It is against this backdrop that brain dead patients who are non-organ donors are disconnected from the ventilator and drug support so that cardiac death may subsequently ensue. However, in this case, the patient must not be denied the ventilator, drugs and all manner of healthcare support since it has not yet been established whether the patient is brain-dead or not. Physicians must always diagnose the patient fully, in order to know his status, before administering any form of medical intervention on any patient. The case in point is not only applicable, but is also serious, warranting thorough diagnosis. b) Legal Issues Relating to This Situation Though physicians are the ones who ascertain whether legal criteria of death have been satisfied or not, it is the law that sets the criteria by which the description of death is to be done. Thus, it is important to reiterate the fact that the patient, despite his state of brain death, is legally still alive. The reason for this patient being rendered alive is twofold. First, it is important to note that even when legal indicators of life (respiration and heartbeat) are being artificially run (through the use of a ventilator), the patient is still considered living. Secondly, the law marks death as having taken place upon legal consequences starting to take effect. The most serious legal consequence is the distribution of the patient’s estate either under intestacy or a will. Another consequence is the

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