Medical Ethics

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The discussion on Patrick Dismuke's condition concentrated on his incapability to improve. After reviewing his symptoms and considering possible scenarios resulting from certain kinds of treatment, such as the tube that delivered nutrients into his veins that "broke the barrier between blood and air" and became "a bacteria-laden Trojan horse, opening the door to infection", we attempted to come to a consensus on what would constitute a quality life, as deliberated among the committee. We took into consideration that after every kind of surgery, his status would be temporarily improved but ultimately decline in keeping with his body's proclivity. We acknowledged that the idea of a successful stomach transplant was remote since, as described, it had only been performed in Russia and a few times in Canada on animals; in addition, Patrick was short of being physically capable in dealing with this sort of procedure.

For a number of years, these doctors treated Patrick in the hopes of one day seeing him live a life of quality that was tantamount to other people his age. Collectively, we conceded that a life of quality should be extended, but then the question was posed: at the moment, what is the quality of Patrick's life? We agreed that a lack of an immediate family support structure was a misfortune for him. It was disappointing for his mother to demonstrate passive care and interest for her son. However, he was embraced by the hospital community and this support structure enabled us to think that this relationship compensated for the initial void. For me, it would've been easier to think of Patrick as incapable of being an individual comprised with a diverse mix of emotions and ambitions. He assimilated the idea that he could associate with other kids by eating at McDonalds. As the book mentions, just the thought of eating out appealed to him more than actually eating (because, of course, he was unable). He was known as a prankster and sold drawings for...
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