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Applying Decision Making Models In Health Care

974 words - 4 pages

Dear Patient,

I understand as your doctor, I have a responsibility to uphold all four cardinal principles of medical ethics and health care including nonmalfeasance, benevolence, justice, and the principle currently at hand, autonomy. The decision to undergo physician-assisted suicide (PAS) is only legal in two states within the U.S. due to the consistent debate between medical professionals and patients regarding empowerment, choice, and human dignity. As notified by the government, medical professionals of any other state are required to politely decline the patient’s request to purposefully over-dose on medication that could potentially cause harm to any state of their health, and ...view middle of the document...

Sincerely,
Your loving doctor and team of physicians

The ethical decision-making model that I believe relates most to this situation is Kidders Ethical Checkpoints. It includes nine checkpoints that can help bring peace to an ethically difficult situation such as the one from the case above dealing with physician-assisted suicide. The nine steps include the following:
1) Recognize that there is a problem
2) Determine the actor
3) Gather the relevant facts
4) Test for right-versus-wrong issues
5) Test for right-versus-right values
6) Apply the ethical standards and perspectives
7) Look for a third way
8) Make the decision
9) Revisit and reflect on the decision…LEARN

This model has had many effects on medical practice over the years, but several of the major advantages of this model include its ability to discuss and recognize that the ethical issue at hand can involve right-right and right-wrong choices (UK.sagepub.com, 2015). The importance thing to understand about most ethical issues when it comes to patient’s life or death is that there is most often never an exact right or wrong decision. Kidders ethical checkpoints also encourages the people involved to take ownership of the decision, and understand all of the facts and options before making the decision.

I do not think a doctor or physician should be able to end the life of any individual, even if their chances of recovery are extremely low. I believe that the number one job of a doctor is to help improve the lives of their patients. Although every patient has the right to autonomy, there is also an appropriate time for medical professionals to set ethical boundaries based on what they believe to be right or wrong. According to the article found in Ethics In Medicine, there is a large difference between passively letting a patient die, and actively killing a patient (Depts.washington.edu, 2015).
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