A Casebook of Medical Ethics

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1989-08-31
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Should a brain-dead woman be artificially maintained for the sake of her fetus? Does a physician have the right to administer a life-saving transfusion despite the patient's religious beliefs? Can a family request a hysterectomy for their retarded daughter? Physicians are facing moral dilemmas with increasing frequency. But how should these delicate questions be resolved and by whom? A Casebook of Medical Ethics offers a real-life view of the central issue involved in clinical medical ethics. Since the analysis of cases plays a critical role in this study, the authors have assembled a broad collection of histories encountered in their work as medical ethics educators and consultants. The cases are developed in substantial detail to reflect the rich medical and psychosocial complexity involved, and each is brought to a decision point at which a course of action must be chosen. Among the issues examined are conflicts between patients' wishes and respect for their well-being, tensions concerning duties to patients unable to care for themselves and obligations to family members, and clashes between patient care obligations and the interests of other persons, including physicians, third parties, and the general public. The book also includes commentaries that combine general discussion of ethical principles with specific analysis of the cases examined in the text, as well as various options for resolving conflicts. Readers are invited to assess the comparative merits and liabilities of these approaches. An ideal text for undergraduate and medical school courses, A Casebook of Medical Ethics brings readers to the forefront of medicine, where they share in the determination of crucial ethical decisions.

Author Biography

Terrence F. Ackerman, Ph.D., is Professor and Chairman, Department of Human Values and Ethics, College of Medicine, University of Tennessee, Memphis. He is co-editor of Clinical Medical Ethics: Exploration and Assessment (University Press of America, 1987). Carson Strong, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Human Values and Ethics, College of Medicine, University of Tennessee, Memphis.

Table of Contents

Paternalism in the Therapeutic Relationship
Ambivalence Toward Electroconvulsive Therapy
Treatment Refusal in the Medical Intensive Care Unit
An Uncooperative Leukemia Patient
Rehabilitation of a Dependent Patient
Alternative Approaches to Informed Consent
Previous Refusal of Treatment by a Presently Comatose Patient
A Family's Refusal of Blood Transfusions for a Mother and Her Son
Deciding Whether to Discharge a Suicidal Patient
A Request for Sex-Reassigning Surgery
Divulging Information Concerning an Infant's Condition
Duties to Patient and Family
A Daughter's Insistence on Aggressive Treatment
Parental Refusal of Cancer Treatment on Religious Grounds
Informed Consent and the Dying Adolescent
Treatment Refusal for an Infant with Possible Brain Damage
Venereal Disease and Adolescent Confidentiality
Contraceptives for an Adolescent
Request for Abortion for a Retarded Daughter
Request for Hysterectomy for a Retarded Eleven-Year-Old
Conflict About Maintaining a Brain-Dead Woman for the Sake of Her Fetus
Choosing the Method of Delivery for a Fetus with Hydrocephalus
Deciding for Others
A Bedridden and Cognitively Impaired Elderly Patient
Who Should Decide for a Patient in Persistent Vegetative State?
Nasogastric Tube Feedings for an Elderly Stroke Patient
A Prolonged Stay in the Neonatal ICU
Deciding Treatment When the Preliminary Diagnosis is Trisomy 18
Risk/Benefit Assessment of Surgery for a Child Suffering from Strokes
Responding to a Family's Decision for Laetrile
Selecting Therapy for a Mentally Retarded Teenager
Birth Control for a Retarded Woman
A Family's Lack of Commitment
Medical Research Involving Human Subjects
Limited Consent in Alcoholism Research
Disclosure of Preliminary Results in a Randomized Clinical Trial
Constraints on Consent in a Phase I Clinical Trial
Proxy Consent for Incompetent Trauma Patients
Undue Inducement in the Recruitment of Research Subjects
Nontherapeutic Research Procedures Involving Children
Discomfort from Repeated Nontherapeutic Research Procedures Involving Competent Adults
Physicians' Treatment Preferences and Recruitment of Subjects for a Randomized Clinical Trial
Parental Preferences and a Child's Involvement in a Randomized Clinical Trial
Compensating Research Injuries
Physicians, Third Parties, and Society
Request for Surgery the Physician Considers Unnecessary
Providing Free Care
Risk of Litigation as a Factor in Decision Making
Pressures to Provide Customary Care
Confidentiality and Child Abuse
Rejection of a Consultant's Advice
Abortion Resulting in a Live Birth
Costly Nutrition for a Terminal Patient
Cost Factors in the Choice of Treatment for Kidney Stone Disease
Artificial Insemination for a Single Woman
Topical Index to Cases
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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