Biomedical Ethics Final Exam Review

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Victoria Burke

Biomedical Ethics Exam Review (1) The reason medical futility should not be used as a reason to deny treatment -futile refers to uselessness of medical intervention -Wicclair defends the idea that medical futility should not be used as a justification for physicians refusing life-sustaining treatment because it involves evaluative standards -although there is a general consensus that patients and their surrogates can accept or refuse life- sustaining treatment, there is increasing support for the idea that physicians are not required to offer medically futile treatments (2) What are reasons that bearing a child with the gene for HD is immoral? Kass: -the fetus has a moral status if we have to have some reason for destroying it -it is ironic that we have acquired the ability to detect and eliminate the medically unequal at a time in history when we have finally succeeded in removing much of the stigma associated with certain illnesses -the way we speak has allowed many to believe that one is the disease than actually has the reason -the parents of such child are likely to treat them differently and resent them especially if the mother wished for but did not get amniocentesis because of ignorance, poverty, or distance from the testing station -life will become even more unbearable for those defectives that escape detection Purdy: -abortion after prenatal screening may look like killing imperfect humans without their consent -all human beings are seen are moral equals, so all human beings are equally entitled to a high quality of life -it is morally wrong to reproduce when we know that there is a high risk of transmitting HD -Purdy says that is it one thing to take risks for oneself, but another to subject someone else to suffering without their consent -optimists claim that a child born with the HD gene has a reasonable chance of living a satisfactory life -pessimists believe that 50% chance for HD is too high -children born into a HD family will have to spend years wondering if they will develop the disease
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