Health Sciences 2610F/G Chapter 6: HS 2610 Ch 6

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Mechanical ventilation, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (cpr), artificial hydration and nutrition, and drugs that could sustain blood pressure have enabled professionals to extend lives that would have ended without these interventions. However, these new interventions can have consequences: o. 21-year-old woman who arrived comatose at a nj hospital after taking drugs and alcohol. Put on a respirator to assist her breathing, but gradually fell into a persistent vegetative. Individuals are wakeful but not consciously aware of their surroundings. Her parents wanted the breathing tube removed, but her doctors refused. The new jersey supreme court ruled in march 1976 that mechanical life- support could be disconnected given her irreversible condition and inevitable death. The court ruled that this action was permitted on grounds of a privacy right guaranteed by the constitution and that karen"s parents were the appropriate surrogates to exercise that right for her. Once the breathing tube was removed, karen unexpectedly began to breath spontaneously.

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