Current Event Summary

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Medical Ethics (Current Event Summary #1)

Parents oppose end of care for brain-dead son.
This event was about Motl Brody of Brooklyn. He was pronounced dead after a half-year fight against a brain tumor, and the DR’s at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington say the seventh-grader’s brain has ceased functioning entirely. “ But for the past few days, a machine has continued to inflate and deflate his lungs. As of late Friday his heart was still beating with the help of a cocktail of intervenous drugs + adrenaline. The ethical issue is the heartbeat within him was still beating. This has prompted Motl’s parents, who are Orthodox Jews, to refuse the hospital’s request to remove all artificial life support. Under some interpretaions of Jewish religious law, death occurs only when the heart + lungs stop functioning. That means Motl “is alive, and his family has a religious obligation to secure all necessary and appropriate medical treatment to keep him alive”. I think that it’s sad the family has to keep the boy alive with no hope of recovery. However if this is the wish of the family and their religious belief. Then they have the pareintial rights. Is it in the child’s best Interest? I would say no therefore the hospital has the right to challenge the child from harm. The parents right of freedom of religion does not take over the childs right to protection from harm. If the benefits and burdens of proposed treatment are one more then the other I think that’s how the decision should be made.

New York- 11/8/2008
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