After reviewing the provided materials, please discuss the following:
Healthcare provision often presents with complex issues. I present here a common scenario (alas) that also represents the extremes in most areas.
Scenario: A 32 year old patient with normal cognition who abuses substance(s) (your choice) presents to the ER in an acute, potentially life-threatening situation. After the assessment, the team realises that directly due to the substance abuse, the patient will require a transplant (of a vital organ, a highly fungal valve, or whatever) in order to ultimately survive.
Please identify potential ethical issues with the decision to treat or not.
Please identify potential risk management issues with the decision to treat or not.
What conflicts (or potential conflicts) exist between the ethical and risk management perspectives?
How would you recommend proceeding? Treat or not? And why or why not?
How would you handle differences of opinion about how to proceed within the team?
As you think about your answer, please also consider:
resource allocation (staff, supplies, available beds in the various areas required should treatment proceed, transplant materials)
the possible personal bias of the team members
traditional professional values
patient autonomy regarding decisions about treatment and future quality of life, and
any alternative options available (or not)
Imagine the patients background:
From a wealthy suburb, OR
A veteran, OR
Homeless minority, OR
How do the above six factors influence your thinking, or not?
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