Ethical Decisions in Prolonging Life<br />
What is Death?<br />	Death is defined as the cessation of all vital functions of the body including the heartbeat, brain a...
Two Different Views about Death<br />Ultimate Failure<br />a natural process in life leading one to the fullness of eterna...
For those who believe that death is a natural process in life leading one to the fullness of eternal life<br />Every prope...
Some Terms<br />Ordinary means - those which do not place excessive physical, mental, financial or spiritual burdens on th...
Contemporary moralists have suggested the use of beneficial vs. non-beneficial.  Does the benefit to the patient justify t...
•	3 Factors that may render treatment to preserve life extraordinary and non-obligatory:<br />o	difficulty of availability...
Question of Resuscitation<br />Resuscitation – refers to the procedure taken to rescue a person from the brink of death by...
Advanced Directives<br />Refers to legal response to end-of-life decisions<br />Fist “living will” legislation was passed ...
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Ethical decisions in prolonging life

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Ethical decisions in prolonging life

  1. 1. Ethical Decisions in Prolonging Life<br />
  2. 2. What is Death?<br /> Death is defined as the cessation of all vital functions of the body including the heartbeat, brain activity (including the brain stem), and breathing.<br />Source: <br />Fallon, L. Fleming. "Death." The Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. 3rd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: <br /> Gale, 2006. 1108-1111. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 19 Apr. 2011.<br />
  3. 3. Two Different Views about Death<br />Ultimate Failure<br />a natural process in life leading one to the fullness of eternal life<br />
  4. 4. For those who believe that death is a natural process in life leading one to the fullness of eternal life<br />Every proper and reasonable effort will be made to preserve life<br />Roman Catholic tradition insists that all persons have a serious responsibility to take ordinary means to preserve their lives and health but those extraordinary measures are not morally required.<br />
  5. 5. Some Terms<br />Ordinary means - those which do not place excessive physical, mental, financial or spiritual burdens on the patient or on his or her family; health care profession equates ordinary means with standard treatment<br />Extraordinary means – those which cause serious burden; health care profession equates extraordinary means with experimental treatment<br />
  6. 6. Contemporary moralists have suggested the use of beneficial vs. non-beneficial. Does the benefit to the patient justify the burden? Two extreme approaches to be avoided: 1) automatically doing everything medical science can do at any cost, and 2) judging that individual’s life is no longer “worth living” and abandoning the person or directly ending his or her life<br />Theologians concluded that only ordinary means could be obligatory while extraordinary means endanger the moral life of the patient and of others <br />
  7. 7. • 3 Factors that may render treatment to preserve life extraordinary and non-obligatory:<br />o difficulty of availability<br />o excessive burden<br />o insufficient expectation of health or sound life<br />
  8. 8. Question of Resuscitation<br />Resuscitation – refers to the procedure taken to rescue a person from the brink of death by restoring heartbeat and breathing<br />Situations when it should not be administered (according to Catholic Healthcare Identity):<br />when it cannot be done in 3-5 minutes<br />irreversible terminal illness when death is imminent and the patient is beyond any hopeful prognosis<br />when the patient, while still competent, definitely decided against it (DNR order – Do Not Resuscitate Order)<br />
  9. 9. Advanced Directives<br />Refers to legal response to end-of-life decisions<br />Fist “living will” legislation was passed in CA in 1977 and spread to other states<br />Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990 – encourage people to make out advanced directives to make out advance directives, which take two forms – living wills and durable power of attorney for health care<br />Although it is ethically permissible to sign these documents, they do not solve all problems<br />

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