Critical Issues in Healthcare

What are some ethical concerns with deeming a patient as incompetent? Have you ever been in a situation at work or at home where you or someone you know had to determine a person’s competence? Do you think the same ethical concerns apply when making a decision at work as they do when making a decision for a family member? Why, or why not?

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Jarrod: 

When it comes to the concern of deeming a patient incompetent, I feel that autonomy and beneficence/nonmaleficence come in to play. These 3 ethics of medicine often cause distress among the patients family members and their health care providers. Providers have to determine if what the patient or family wants will produce the best medical outcome for the patient. Then this can cause the family to put the patient under more scrutinizing tests an evaluations to check their psychiatric capability. I have been involved with these decisions both at work and in my personal life. My grandmother got to the point where should could no longer make decisions for herself and my grandfather was quite perplexed at times with some of the decisions my grandfather included myself in the decision making for my grandmother. I do feel that the same ethical concerns come into play when making a decision at work and for a family member. My grandmother, before she passed, told me that I was always the most tinder hearted, kindhearted and loving person she knew but when difficult decisions had to be made I was called cold hearted and numb by my aunts, uncle and even my mother if the suggestion I gave wasn’t what they liked. I gave the best medical decision there was even if it wasn’t to keep my grandmother here anymore. I am the only one with a medical background in my family and they never saw the bad side of bad decision making. Even though I am not a doctor, I myself have made the promise in my heart to do no harm and always do what is best for my patients or my family, even if the decision I make may make people hate me for a while. You never want to prolong someones life just to benefit yours. You have to see yourself in heir shoes and ask yourself, would i want to be going through all of this? It is a difficult decision but sometimes it is needed.

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