Leukemia Case

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Healing achieved by religious beliefs and prayer can be described as faith healing. A case of a 10 month old infant with presumptive diagnosis of leukemia was presented. Upon attempt of further medical evaluation and conventional treatment, the infant’s parents decided to reject therapy based on their spiritual beliefs. The health care professional who managed the case, unsuccessfully attempted to question the beliefs of the patient’s parents and the infant never followed up for the presumptive medical condition. The ethical implications of this case must be discussed by analyzing the individuals involved, their position, and their moral obligations. In the case presented, the parents of the infant acted as legal surrogates. As surrogates, they had a moral obligation to seek for what was best for the child and apply the standard of substituted judgment to respect the patient’s autonomy. “According to the substituted judgment standard, the surrogate ought to make the decision that the patient would have made, had he or she been competent” (Broström & Johansson, 2009, p.107). While the infant’s…show more content…
It is important to consider that, “…decision-making capacity is a relative matter and by no means a black and white situation. A patient’s decision-making capacity can only be assessed in light of his or her specific condition, including the nature and degree of potential risks” (Parsapoor, Parsapoor, Rezaei, & Asghari, 2014, p.242). Leukemia is a life-threatening, therefore, the infant’s case needed to be carefully examined to determine a beneficial treatment approach and achieve the best quality of care. The moral question is, how could the parents and medical providers decide what was best for the infant if the infant had not reached a level of maturity and was not able to consciously express his/her convictions and treatment

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