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Monday, January 27, 2014

ethical questions without answers: Marlise Muñoz

Texas judge: Remove brain-dead woman from ventilator, other machines

By Ed Lavandera. Josh Rubin and Greg Botelho, CNN
January 25, 2014 -- Updated 0309 GMT (1109 HKT)

Judge orders pregnant woman off ventilator

  • Judge orders hospital to remove woman from ventilator, respirator
  • Hospital agrees woman brain dead since November 28, fetus not viable, court papers say
  • Family wants her taken off respirator, ventilator so they can take her body and bury it
  • Fort Worth hospital had said it was following state law by keeping her on ventilator
Fort Worth, Texas (CNN) -- 
A Texas judge ordered a Fort Worth hospital to remove a pregnant and brain-dead woman from respirators and ventilators on Friday, perhaps ending a wrenching legal debate about who is alive, who is dead and how the presence of a fetus changes the equation.

Could we disconnect Marlise Munoz 
from life support immediately?

in life, there are humans, and what these people consider "right" and "wrong" can change. That's the trick with ethics, the study of right and wrong. Accepted beliefs evolve. 
So how does ethics work in medicine, and how might it be different in 100 years?
Different professions have their own ethical standards. Examples of ethical themes in most of them include honesty, carefulness, integrity, non-discrimination and confidentiality. Because of medical ethics, you can have a reasonable expectation that your personal information will be kept private, your clinical providers won't be impaired, and your wishes for care while incapacitated will be respected.
Ethics are so highly valued in medicine that most doctors pledge to adhere to the Hippocratic Oath.

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