Friday, March 25, 2005

Medical ethics and the Terri Schiavo case

Pregunta ètica para medicos.

Si usted hubiera sido el medico de esta paciente con bulimia, consideraría usted que la paciente quería morir originalmente cuando padecía de bulimia y que era esa su intención cuando desarrollo anoxia cerebral que la tiene ahora en un “estado vegetativo” por tantos años?

Aceptaría usted el quitar el tubo de alimentación basándose en el deseo original de morir de la paciente?

O evitaría quitar el tubo para evitar el suicidio lento de esta paciente porque es nuestro deber evitar el suicidio?

Otras alternativas?

Sus respuestas son un ejercicio en etica medica. Si usted esta asociado de alguna manera con este caso en particular por favor no conteste nada por este medio electronico.

“Terri Schiavo is a 41-year-old disabled woman in Florida who is the focus of a massive religious, judicial and legislative effort to keep her alive. In 1990, she suffered from bulimia, an eating disorder. It induced a heart attack which temporarily starved her brain of oxygen. Courts and doctors appointed by the courts have ruled that she is now in a persistent vegetative state. Brain scans have shown that the part of Schiavo's brain that controls thought and voluntary movements had atrophied. Her brain stem, which control involuntary movements such as breathing and blinking, remains intact and functioning. 1

Her husband believes that it was her stated wish that she be allowed to die if she were ever in this situation. Her parents reject the assessment that she is in a persistent vegetative state. They feel that she can regain some of her mental functioning through therapy.

Terri is unable to eat or drink and was being supplied nourishment through a feeding tube that connects directly to her stomach. On three occasions in the past, her husband has obtained court approval to remove the tube and allow her to die by dehydration. By late 2005-MAR, the family, Florida courts, the U.S. Supreme Court, and Congress had been active in her case”