We have become more successful in supporting and maintaining life for premature babies who would not normally survive outside the uterus. Please describe the positive and negative aspects of this ability.
What are the bioethical principles involved in these cases?
The use of sophisticated technology has enhanced the development of the fetus that is born prematurely hence reducing deaths of the infants. Scientists and researchers have made efforts to put in place environmental factors that will enhance the development of fetuses outside the womb (Lawhon, 2002). At conception, a mother’s womb becomes an immediate environment for fetus growth. However, there is the claim that even the environment of the foster mother is likely to influence the development of the fetus in the womb. Such external factors include stress, alcoholism, smoking, exposure to radioactive emissions, and other chemicals from the mother’s body that result in premature delivery. Meanwhile, experts have managed to support and maintain the development of the fetus by eliminating serious defects that are likely to occur due to prematurity. This has been done by ensuring safety in the chief environment that surrounds premature infants. The bioethics principle behind this is to preserve lives and alleviate their lifespan (Lawhon, 2002).
Meanwhile, experts have tried to boost the survival chances of fetuses born prematurely by ensuring that vital organs develop fully. Immediate needs are provided to eliminate all odds like under-developed brain and respiratory complications. Measures taken have both positive and negative impacts on the life of the fetus. Affirmatively, such bioethical practices lower the chances of disabilities in the life of infants. Such disabilities include deafness, low cognition, cerebral palsy, and blindness (Lawhon, 2002). Moreover, this prolongs infants’ life since they do not die at delivery time. Needless to say, research done indicates that survivors of prematurity perform well in their physical activities irrespective of a few challenges. On the other hand, technology has some limitations. 25% of infants endure severe disabilities (Lawhon, 2002). Furthermore, 24% of an infant have moderate disabilities including cerebral palsy, short vision, lameness, and deafness (Lawhon, 2002). Additionally, bioethics technology is very costly especially when cases of prematurity are rampant in a country. It also requires specialized personnel to provide standard care to premature infants. This entails special training for parents which is time demanding and costly as well (Lawhon, 2002).
Both Karen Ann Quinlan and Terri Schiavo suffered events that led to their being declared in a persistent vegetative state. Ultimately the decision was made by their caregivers to remove life support systems. In these cases whose responsibility is it to make the decision? Why were these decisions controversial? What bioethical principles are involved in these cases? Would health care proxy statements have an effect in these types of cases? Why or why not?
Karen Ann and Terry Schiavo suffered events that ultimately made their caregivers remove their life support systems. Being in a vegetative state for a long, there was a huge dilemma over whether they should be denied care services and left to die. However, the law ruled in favor of the parents to remove the life support systems. The ruling raised huge controversy over who should take the liability in making such a decision. In my opinion, the responsibility should be left in the hands of medical experts and the law to decide on the destiny of the patients with such cases. Bioethics principles behind this decision were to eliminate the sais Patients from acute pain. Health care proxy should affect the cases to ensure that such measures are taken only when necessary (Heiskell, 2010).
The status of women and children in their respective societies may determine access to health care. What are the bioethical issues involved with the differing status of women and children? Should the bioethical values of one society be imposed upon another? Why or why not?
Women and children’s position in society may determine their access to health care. Because quite a several women and children are not given a central role to play in society, their health progress is diminishing (Heiskell, 2010). The emergence of social and economic catastrophes deprives their basic health care. In countries where health disparities are rampant, a lack of women’s empowerment can affect their reproductive health as well as the health of their children. Women and children’s health should be given top priority agenda in any society. Improving the position of women in society through enhancing gender equality will improve the access to health care. Such equality involves equal access to nutrition, education, earning, and nurturing. Valuing children’s position in society will enhance their access to health care (Heiskell, 2010). The bioethics issue involved in the differing status of women and children is that every individual is entitled to quality health care regardless of age, gender, or marital status. Such bioethics should be imposed in all societies as part of fostering equal access to health care.
Heiskell, H. (2010). Ethical Decision-Making for the Utilization of Technology-Based Patient/Family Education. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics. 14 (1): 1- 14.
Lawhon, G. (2002). Facilitation of parenting the premature infant within the newborn intensive care unit. Journal of prenatal and neonatal nursing. 16(1), 71-82.