A ) Society perspective
90 year old female, Mrs. Ruth, from home with her daughter, is admitted to hospital after sustaining a hip fracture. She has a history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on home oxygen and moderate to severe aortic stenosis. (Obstruction of blood flow through part of the heart) She undergoes urgent hemiarthroplasty (hip surgery) with an uneventful operative course.
The patient and her family are of Jewish background. The patient’s daughter is her primary caregiver and has financial power-of-attorney, but it is not known whether she has formal power of attorney for personal care. Concerns have been raised to the ICU team about the possibility of elder abuse in the home by the patient’s daughter.
Unfortunately, on postoperative day 4, the patient develops delirium with respiratory failure secondary to hospital acquired pneumonia and pulmonary edema. (Fluid in the lungs) Her goals of care were not assessed pre-operatively. She is admitted to the ICU for non-invasive positive pressure ventilation for 48 hours, and then deteriorates and is intubated. After 48 hours of ventilation, it was determined that due to the severity of her underlying cardio-pulmonary status (COPD and aortic stenosis), ventilator weaning would be difficult and further ventilation would be futile.
The patient’s daughter is insistent on continuing all forms of life support, including mechanical ventilation and even extracorporeal membranous oxygenation (does the work of the lungs) if indicated. However, the Mrs Ruth’s delirium clears within the next 24 hours of intubation, and she is now competent, although still mechanically ventilated. She communicated to the ICU team that she preferred 1-way extubation (removal of the ventilator) and comfort care. This was communicated in writing to the ICU team, and was consistent over time with other care providers. The patient went as far to demand the extubation over the next hour, which was felt to be reasonable by the ICU team.
The patient’s daughter was informed of this decision, and stated that she could not come to the hospital for 2 hours, and in the meantime, that the patient must remain intubated.
At this point, the ICU team concurred with the patient’s wishes, and extubated her before her daughter was able to come to the hospital.
The daughter was angry at the team’s decision, and requested that the patient be re-intubated if she deteriorated. When the daughter arrived at the hospital, the patient and daughter were able to converse, and the patient then agreed to re-intubation if she deteriorated.
(1) What are the ethical issues emerging in this case? State why? (KRISTINA)
(2) What decision model(s) would be ideal for application in this case? State your justification.
(3) Who should make decisions in this situation? Should the ICU team have extubated the patient? State if additional information was necessary for you to arrive at a better decision(s) in your case.
(4) Do religious beliefs constitute a justification for demanding treatment when it is not indicated?
(5) Does the change in the patient’s decision mean that she lacked the capacity to make the decision in the first place, or that she was not well informed?
- Case Study 2:
- Prepare at least three pages to respond to the case.
- Among other things, include a 100-word summary, identify key issues, participants (in the case and those who should be considered), two potential alternatives, and the final decision with justification.
- Include at least two citations (APA).
- Prepare PPT, at least 5 slides to present your case study.
- Every member should participate in the preps and presentation.
- Peer evaluations will be used to assess member contribution.
- Include visual examples.
- Include quotes or findings from the citations used in the case study.