Chapter: Introduction

   Section 5. Decision Scenarios


A woman appearing to be in her fifties is brought into the ER of a city hospital unconscious with several severe injuries.  While being worked on she goes into a cardiac arrest and the physician in charge orders that all further work be halted.  When asked "Why doctor?"  The physician responded that "My gut feeling is that she would not want further care."

In another incident with a seventy two year old male brought into the ER in an unconscious state and suffering from a number of physical ailments the same3 physician ordering a number of procedures to be done and when the man went into a cardiac arrest ordered emergency resuscitation.  When confronted by the man's wife who presented her husband's Living Will to the physician that her husband had a Living Will and in it indicated that he would not want such procedures under the present circumstances, the physician responded that:" My gut feeling is that he did not mean that and would accept what I am offering were he conscious."

Why not just go with your "gut feeling" when confronted with a situation that presents a moral dilemma? Why not use feelings as a guide for conduct?


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Copyright Philip A. Pecorino 2002. All Rights reserved.

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