The Paul Brophy Case

Topics: Judaism, Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, Bioethics Pages: 3 (752 words) Published: October 27, 2014
THE BROPHY CASE 2 Paul Brophy was a 46 year-old firefighter and EMTwho had a brain aneurysm that left him in a persistive vegitative state (PVS) with no hope of recovery. He was admitted to New England Sinai Hospital and during the course of treatment a gastrostomy tude was placed in his stomach to provide him with food and water. When x-rays revealed that Mr. Brophy had irresiversable brain damage, his wife and family requested the tube removed and he be allowed to die, as was his verbal request to his family. However, the hospital refused, indicating that the deprivation of basic needs is unethical and the case was taken to court. In this paper I will discuss the ways that the principles of beneficence and justice are relevant in this case, how the Jewish religion would approach the right to die, and what I would do in this situation.

As stated above, the case went to court and a judge agreed that Mr. Brophy would have not wanted the gastrostomy tube; however, he refused to authorize its removal because he was not terminally ill. The case went on to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts who decided to transfer Mr. Brophy to another hospital that was agreeable to removal of the gastrostomy tube (Paul Brophy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, n.d). In terms of beneficence, I feel that the hospital was acting with with good faith and did believe that keeping the feeding tube was beneficial to Mr. Brophy. Beauchamp & Childress (2013) write that the “Principle of beneficience refers to a statement of moral obligation to act for the benefit of others” (p. 203). In terms of justice, I believe that in the end Mr. Brophy and his family did receive justice. His request was honored, in part, because it emphasizes our duty to respect the valid wishes of individuals. Beauchamp & Childress write that “The terms fairness, desert (what is...

References: Beauchamp, T. L., & Childress, J. F. (2013). Principles of biomedical ethics. ( 7th ed., p. 203).
New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Schlesinger, F. (n.d.). The Dying and Their Treatment. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Paul Brophy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from
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