Terminal sedation essays

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Terminal sedation essays

On April 15, 1975 Karen Ann Quinlan age 21 became ill.She haddifficulty breathing, became unresponsive and showed signs of brain damage.Her doctors described her condition as persistent vegetative state.At times she could not breathe and eventually a respirator tube was inserted into her throat.Karen's family and physicians decided in July of 1975 that the respirator should be discontinued.Unfortunately a few days later the lead physician informed the family that he would not honor their wishes due to no medical precedent in regarding the actions of removal of life support.The Superior Court of New Jersey intervened and the county prosecutor, the treating physicians and hospital all filled suit against the family.The Quinlan family took the suit to the Supreme Court who in turn found that Karen would not come out of her comatose state."Persons in Persistent vegetative state or in any other condition in which therapy is either ineffective or would impose a grave burden, removing life support does not cause death.
Rather removing life support allows death to occur as the result of natural pathology which is not beneficial to resist."The Supreme Court ruled that Karen's family had the right to privacy and it was only her family who would be competent enough to decide her fate.Finally in May of 1979 Karen was taken off life support.
The Medical Treatment Act of 1988 clarifies the law relating to the right of patients to refuse medical treatment if the patient does not feel that it is in there best interest.The act allows patients to appoint someone to make decisions for their medical care if they are incapacitated.This act also protects medical practioners to comply with the refusal of treatment certificate.The requirements of the patient or family to refuse treatment are as follows:They must fill out a refusal of treatment certificate.Must be 18 years old or older of sound mind and …