Analysis of Ethical Dilemma from Current Events
Gabriele Varley
Grand Canyon University
Ethical Decision Making in Health Care
NRS 437V
Jude Belmonte
September 05, 2010

Analysis of Ethical Dilemma from Current Events
When does a person have the ‘right to die’?   In recent years there has been concern in the medical community regarding a person’s ability to clearly make the decision on terminating their life.   In Australia, an interesting case was brought before the Supreme Court of Australia by a residential treatment facility.
Mr. Rossiter (MR), a quadriplegic, was in the residential center decided he no longer wished to live. He communicated through a tracheotomy and only had limited movements. Nutrition, hydration and medications were delivered way of a percutaneous gastronomy tube (PEG).   MR requested that feeding and hydration be stopped and that only medications for pain relief be given. Though he communicated to his doctors that he no longer wished to live, he did not have the ability to end his own life.
      The facility was faced with a dilemma, respecting MR’s right to autonomy by complying with wishes of stopping feedings and hydration which could lead to criminal prosecution. The alternative is that the facility continues to feed and hydrate MR which would then violate his right to autonomy by preventing him from making his health care decisions. The concern of a possible law suit lead to the facility bring suit against MR so that clarification of MR’s ‘right to die’ request can be determined (Mair, 2010).
When determining the best course of action the patient’s wishes must be considered and be paramount. Doing so will maintain a patient’s autonomy.   Also important is the Quality of life an individual will have. Should an intervention contribute to suffering rather than relieve suffering the principle of non-malefience may sway the decision maker to discontinue the...