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Challenges In Capacity & Decision Making

1014 words - 5 pages

Abstract
According to the given scenario Mr. Jones arrived to the hospital with his daughter. He is suffering from respiratory distress and several medical conditions. After doctors evaluate Mr. Jones, found he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and that he has gangrene on his right foot. Prompt intervention is needed since Mr. Jones is a diabetic patient. Doctors agree that Mr. Jones must undergo to a below the knee amputation procedure to save his live but Mr. Jones refused the surgery by saying he must die with his body intact. Contrary to Mr. Jones’ opinion his daughter wants the doctors to do the procedure. She told doctors that they had to do everything for his father so that she ...view middle of the document...

However, Mr. Jones daughter disagrees. She wants the surgery because she fears an investigation for elder-neglect if her father dies due to lack of treatment.
Legal rights of the patient versus his daughter’s rights
The major parties involved in this dilemma have opposite points of views. According to legal statutes in the United States, patients have the right to take decisions about the treatment which they undergo. Patients can employ or remove any person from providing health care to them at any time. On the contrary, if a patient is not competent to make this decision, the care giver gives the authorization for the treatment. Only if Mr. Jones is declared incompetent, then his daughter can take over the decision for him but Mr. Jones expressed his will loud and clear. Mr. Jones’ legal rights are higher than his daughter’s rights because he is the patient and he is capable of making his own decisions.
Ethical Issues of the Case
In this case the patient denies undergoing a treatment proposed by the doctors. The first ethical dilemma faced by doctors is whether to treat the patient without his consent. This decision will have legal implications if they do. The other option is to leave Mr. Jones on his condition, which is ethically wrong. In addition to doctors, Mr. Jones daughter is facing a huge ethical dilemma since she is unable to decide for her father to assure him an adequate treatment. It is for sure that Mr. Jones daughter cannot take the decision on his behalf, unless Mr. Jones is declared incompetent through a capacity assessment.
A capacity assessment is an analysis that evaluates the functional abilities of a patient to verify whether the patient is in position or not to take health care decisions. The study analyses if the patient is able to understand the information provided and whether he or she can analyze the consequences of those decisions. Then, doctors may decide if they should respect the patient consent or start the right treatment option as per agreed. Given the above circumstances that Mr. Jones has been diagnose with Alzheimer’s disease and mild dementia he needs to...

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