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Please Just Turn This Thing Off: Ethics Committee Decision

In: Other Topics

Submitted By fantlat1
Words 980
Pages 4
Here at Marion General Hospital, there is a patient by the name of Margie Whitson, age 95, who is wishing (demanding) to have her pacemaker deactivated. She has provided the staff including the nurse, her primary physician, Dr. Vijay , and the social worker with her reasoning as to how and why she has reached this decision. It appears that no one has been able to change her mind; actually she is more adamant now more than ever.
The dilemma that has presented itself here is should Mrs. Whitson request be granted; should her pacemaker be turned off although Margie' heart rhythm is now 100% paced meaning she is completely depending on the pacemaker for survival. Dr.Vijay has stated that he cannot deactivate due to ethical concerns. He does feels as a doctor he has did his job which was to save her life. To deactivate the pacemaker would be contradictory to his duties as a physician, and his human dignity. While on the other hand, a patient is generally allowed to make their own treatment decisions and the staff must respect their autonomy.

As stated before Margie Whitson is a 95 year old lady who is a woman of great faith. She was married to her husband Earl for 68 years before his passing five years ago at the age of 88. Together they had two boys, one who died from a motorcycle accident in his thirties and another who spent three years with her at the same facility before passing a couple of weeks ago at the age of 73. There are no other family members since they were never blessed with grandchildren.
Margie’s health is not the best, in fact she suffered a hip fracture ten years ago which set her back significantly; she now uses a wheelchair. Along with a heart attack that occurred two years ago, hence the reason for the pacemaker. The decision to turn her pacemaker off was presented to the nurse after returning from her son’s...

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