case: Five-year-old Anna has eaten a hot dog containing pork, a food forbidden by her family�s religion. Her father brings her to the ER and requests that the doctor �pump her stomach,� i.e. pass a large diameter nasogasteric tube attached to suction to retrieve the hot dog. The ER doctor, Dr. Gill, has strong reservations, because he does not find the procedure medically necessary, and worries about unnecessary harm to the patient and waste of medical resources. A�s father thinks Dr. Gill is insufficiently sensitive to his culture�s beliefs and values. Dr. Gill considers contacting a leader of the family�s religion to clarify the religion�s teachings.
Each of the ethical values and principles listed below can be applied to this case in order to help us understand the case�s full moral complexity:
1. Beneficence�the welfare of the patient, or patient interests
2. Respect for cultures and religions�cultural and religious sensitivity
3. Parental rights– the right to shape their children�s lives as they see fit: is there a limit here?
4. Human rights: what rights are being violated, if any?
5. Professional integrity and competence�the right of healthcare professionals to offer services that agree with their own codes of ethics; professional boundaries with co-workers
A) What action might each item justify ethically? For example, if we think of the issue in terms of the welfare of the patient, we might think it would be best for her if�..If we want to show cultural sensitivity we might argue� If we look at the issue from the point of view of the parents, we might argue� If look at the issue from the point of view of human rights violations, we might argue� If we look at the issue from the point of view of the physician and his codes of ethics, we might think he should�. You may refer to a narrative of someone who experienced this kind of situation with their parents and a doctor. You need only show an awareness of material covered in our first lecture. (Section A: Write 300 words).
B) What do you personally think the physician should do?
*Make an analogy with another case where a doctor thought that the parents were requesting a controversial treatment for their child based on their culture and religion (such as female genital mutilation or a less extreme form of surgery). Compare and contrast the case of stomach pumping with this new case, saying how they are similar and dissimilar; and then after this exploration say what you think the physician should do in both cases. If you think the cases are very similar then what you say the doctor should do in the new case would be very similar to what you think the doctor should do in the case of stomach pumping.
**Present one significant objection to your position�What could someone say in response to your personal view regarding what the doctor should do in the case of stomach pumping and how would they defend themselves? Respond to the objection, thus tightening your position. So, for example, say �Someone might argue against my position that I am being culturally insensitive but I think this is not true because � (Section B: Write 300 words).
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