This program continues to be enormously successful, and although it is sponsored by the Christian Reformed Church, there is no reason why other programs like it could not be established around the country to match caring citizens with needy caregivers. Conroy's nephew testified that his aunt would never have wanted to be maintained in this manner. Nor do statistical factors indicating that a majority of competent persons similarly situated choose treatment resolve the issue. This consensus ignores the complexity of the ethical integrity of the medical profession, the many angles from which it is subject to erosion, and the fact that there will always be cases that need to be addressed at the margins of consensus. Connecticut , the legalization of abortion Roe v. The Court noted that it was lifting its catalog of state interests from the lower court and the parties' briefs.
The well publicized decision of the New Jersey Court in In re Quinlan, 70 N. It is my contention here that the latter is the best course of action, because the Societal Goal is a worthy one. The nature of the right of any person, competent or incompetent, to decline potentially life-prolonging treatment. On April 30, 2004, Judge Charles A. Finally, courts should seek to maximize the sum of these interests--patients', doctors', and society's--rather than respecting only the one perceived to be weightiest in the case at hand. However, we emphasize that upon receiving evidence of a significant change either in the medical condition of Saikewicz or in the medical treatment available to him for successful treatment of his condition, the probate judge may issue a further order. Because the transfusions did not, in the eyes of the majority opinion written by Judge Sol Wachtler 1930 — , cause much pain, the appellate court overturned the probate court's ruling.
In the last seventeen months, she had formed a relationship of trust in, and affection for, the staff. The fourth State interest -- the preservation of life -- has been viewed with proper regard for the heavy physical and emotional burdens on the patient if a vigorous regimen of drug therapy were to be imposed to effect a brief and uncertain delay in the natural process of death. Superintendent of Belchertown State Sch. This leads us to the question of how the right of an incompetent person to decline treatment might best be exercised so as to give the fullest possible expression to the character and circumstances of that individual. Drawing on the evidence before him including the testimony of the medical experts, and the report of the guardian ad litem, the probate judge issued detailed findings with regard to the costs and benefits of allowing Saikewicz to undergo chemotherapy.
On October 17, 1988, District Court Judge Francis Boyle ruled that Marcia Gray could be starved and dehydrated to death. In April 1976, the probate court appointed a guardian ad litem with authority to make the necessary decision. The judge, as well as all the parties, was keenly aware that the supposed inability of Saikewicz, by virtue of his mental retardation, to appreciate or experience life had no place in the decision before them. The report of the guardian or temporary guardian will, of course, also be available to the judge at this hearing on the ultimate issue of treatment. After Jobes initiated the suit, his wife was transferred to Cornell Medical Center for four days of observation and testing.
Principles should be informed by on-the-ground ethical judgments. The brain stimulator implant appeared to be a success, and the young woman appeared to be slowly emerging from her coma. Stated more weakly, perhaps it requires doctors to act in ways that are not inconsistent with the views of a significant portion of the medical ethical establishment. Furthermore, because physicians are already involved in making decisions that hasten the death of terminally ill patients--through termination of life support, withholding of medical treatment, and terminal sedation--there is in fact significant tension between the traditional view of the physician's role and the actual practice in a growing number of cases. This case is also disturbing because the consciences and the beliefs of the health care workers were utterly disregarded. See Georgetown, supra; United States v.
The limited-objective test permits discontinuing life-sustaining treatment if medical evidence shows that the patient would reject treatment that would only prolong suffering and that medication would not alleviate pain. Any threats of civil liability may be removed by a valid giving or withholding of consent by an informed patient. The disease is allowed to run its course, and Joseph Saikewicz is allowed to die. In other words, all the parents are legally obligated to do is keep the child comfortable and hope that he or she dies. Second, the decision was consistent with medical ethics in general. As a preliminary matter, we briefly inquire into the powers of the Probate Court in this context. The courts must also recognize that the ethical integrity of the medical profession requires some ethical autonomy for medical practitioners.
That is, is it the unvarying responsibility of the State to order medical treatment in all circumstances involving the care of an incompetent person? Abortion As discussed previously, an early, important abortion case, Poe v. Connecticut, this right did not extend to the withdrawal of food and water. The appended opinion expanded the 'right to privacy' found in the Roe v. Their heavily metaphorical character e. The factors which distinguish the two types of persons are found only in the area of how the State should approach the preservation and implementation of the rights of an incompetent Page 737 person and in the procedures necessary to that process of preservation and implementation.
Chemotherapy, however, would make Saikewicz suffer adverse side effects that he would not understand. Consistency with medical ethics is thus a necessary condition of any decision, not a factor that can be balanced against the patient's liberty interest. Special thanks to Bruce Ackerman, Hon. The major concern is the right to health, not the right to health care. The Individual Conscience Goal: A doctor should not have to violate her conscience in acceding to a patient's request and a court's enforcement of that request. The evaluator possesses pertinent information about the relevant matters.
Such a requirement is distinguishable from the judicial overview traditionally required in other matters such as the adjudication and commitment of mental incompetents. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia. But do these comparisons have any meaning in the ultimate sense? This usage is significant, because the court nevertheless allows a patient to refuse treatment and forbids doctors to care fully for either the mother or the fetus, both of whom would die without treatment. This may or may Page 751 not conform to what is thought wise or prudent by most people. In Saikewicz's application of the ethical integrity test, the court did look to the opinions of the attending physicians, but it did not treat these decisions as matters of personal conscience. Louisiana: Medical Ethics on Death Row: Is Judicial Intervention Warranted? Conroy's court-appointed guardian ad litem opposed the petition.