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Challenges in Capacity & Decision Making

  • Date Submitted: 01/06/2015 06:19 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 47.3 
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Abstract
According to the given scenario Mr. Jones arrived to the hospital with his daughter. He is suffering from respiratory distress and several medical conditions. After doctors evaluate Mr. Jones, found he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and that he has gangrene on his right foot. Prompt intervention is needed since Mr. Jones is a diabetic patient. Doctors agree that Mr. Jones must undergo to a below the knee amputation procedure to save his live but Mr. Jones refused the surgery by saying he must die with his body intact. Contrary to Mr. Jones’ opinion his daughter wants the doctors to do the procedure. She told doctors that they had to do everything for his father so that she can take him back home; although, she may be afraid of an investigation for elder-neglect. This paper aims to address the various legal and ethical challenges of this scenario as well as provide a satisfactory solution to all parties.  

Challenges in Capacity and Decision Making
The law presumes that adults are capable of making their own health care decisions, but what happens when patients do not meet the criteria to decide on their own? Every day physicians access the decision-making capacity of their patients at every clinical encounter. Decision capacity is the concept in health care law and ethics that will be discuss in this document.
Legal Aspects
Clinicians always want to achieve the best possible outcomes for patients; however, they face multiple legal boundaries. The first legal issue in this situation is the patient consent. Doctors need the patient’s consent or the authorization of the legal guardian to do any medical intervention or move ahead with any treatment. If a doctor performs a treatment without this consent they could be charged for battery or negligence. Mr. Jones said that he does not want any intervention and that his body must remains intact so the doctors cannot undertake the proposed treatment. However, Mr. Jones daughter disagrees. She wants...

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