Mrs. Jansen is a Roman Catholic Christian 58-year-old schoolteacher. Six weeks ago, she suffered a stroke that left her with severe deficits. Her doctor told her family that due to her injury, she will be unable to walk on her own, feed herself, or be independent from full assistance for the remainder of her life. She remains in the hospital and has not communicated with her family in any way since the stroke. She is breathing on her own but will most likely experience unpredictable bouts of respiratory distress for the rest of her life, requiring future mechanical ventilation. She is receiving nutrients through a feeding tube, which was surgically inserted in her stomach.
Her husband wants the doctor to remove the feeding tube and permit the effects of the stroke to take their natural course. He is sure that this is what his wife would want, especially considering the grim diagnosis. He knows this not only from what she has told him in the past but also because of her free and independent character. He believes that she would not want to live like this. The doctor is not comfortable removing the feeding tube because she believes it to be necessary to sustain life.
Questions to consider in the case study:
Answer: The teaching of the Catholic Church to help inform the patient’s caregivers so that they can decide on a course of action as it teaches that if there is no possibility of life of a patient, then the patient have right to die with his own. It means that the extremely unfavorable conditions through which the patient is unable to live or suffers from severe pain should be free from sufferings.
Yes, the husband's request is upto the mark as the patient is unable to live longer, she would not want to live life on these conditions and suffering.
Doctor should reconsider the family's decision and if possible should directly communicate with the patient regarding the patient's choice and attorney.
The feeding tube is a kind of artificial method through which the nutrients are being supplied. Hence it can be removed in the case where the patient is no longer need it or it is useless.
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