A 28-year-old male is admitted with bacterial endocarditis and needs a replacement of his prosthetic heart valve. After his first replacement, he continued to abuse intravenous drugs. The medical team feels it would be “futile” and a waste of medical resources to replace this heart valve yet again. Is the team’s judgment appropriate in this case? What if the team had an available research study about valve replacement? Would it be ethical to include this patient as a subject?

A

When healthcare costs are high, medical professionals are required to make decisions that maximize the efficiency of expenditures. This is especially prominent in the United States, where there is a significant focus on waste avoidance. Therefore, in some cases, healthcare professionals will refuse treatment to persons if the costs of treatment outweigh its potential benefits. In the present case, the patient is a drug addict who has already received a prosthetic heart valve and is in need of a replacement due to bacterial endocarditis. The doctors are wary of performing the treatment, as they consider it futile.

In order to evaluate the team’s judgement, it is critical to outline the possible outcomes of treatment. On the one hand, the patient could stop taking drugs, and the treatment would thus improve his condition and help him to live a longer, more fulfilling life. On the other hand, the most likely outcome is that the patient continues drug abuse and will develop further complications due to his addiction. In this case, the treatment will be futile. Similarly, signing the patient up for an experimental treatment would result in a waste of resources.

Futile treatments are a significant source of healthcare expenditures in the United States. The elimination of useless treatments can help to provide much-needed care to people who will have more benefits from it. Also, rendering futile treatments can cause distress in health providers, which could affect their work with other patients. In this case, the refusal of treatment is ethically justified, as it is an expression of the health care provider’s autonomy. Therefore, I believe that the medical team’s judgement, in this case, is appropriate, and they should not provide treatment to this patient until he stops abusing intravenous drugs.

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Academic.Tips. (2021) 'A 28-year-old male is admitted with bacterial endocarditis and needs a replacement of his prosthetic heart valve. After his first replacement, he continued to abuse intravenous drugs. The medical team feels it would be "futile" and a waste of medical resources to replace this heart valve yet again. Is the team's judgment appropriate in this case? What if the team had an available research study about valve replacement? Would it be ethical to include this patient as a subject'. 10 June.

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Academic.Tips. (2021, June 10). A 28-year-old male is admitted with bacterial endocarditis and needs a replacement of his prosthetic heart valve. After his first replacement, he continued to abuse intravenous drugs. The medical team feels it would be "futile" and a waste of medical resources to replace this heart valve yet again. Is the team's judgment appropriate in this case? What if the team had an available research study about valve replacement? Would it be ethical to include this patient as a subject? Retrieved from https://academic.tips/question/a-28-year-old-male-is-admitted-with-bacterial-endocarditis-and-needs-a-replacement-of-his-prosthetic-heart-valve-after-his-first-replacement-he-continued-to-abuse-intravenous-drugs-the-medical-team/

References

Academic.Tips. 2021. "A 28-year-old male is admitted with bacterial endocarditis and needs a replacement of his prosthetic heart valve. After his first replacement, he continued to abuse intravenous drugs. The medical team feels it would be "futile" and a waste of medical resources to replace this heart valve yet again. Is the team's judgment appropriate in this case? What if the team had an available research study about valve replacement? Would it be ethical to include this patient as a subject?" June 10, 2021. https://academic.tips/question/a-28-year-old-male-is-admitted-with-bacterial-endocarditis-and-needs-a-replacement-of-his-prosthetic-heart-valve-after-his-first-replacement-he-continued-to-abuse-intravenous-drugs-the-medical-team/.

1. Academic.Tips. "A 28-year-old male is admitted with bacterial endocarditis and needs a replacement of his prosthetic heart valve. After his first replacement, he continued to abuse intravenous drugs. The medical team feels it would be "futile" and a waste of medical resources to replace this heart valve yet again. Is the team's judgment appropriate in this case? What if the team had an available research study about valve replacement? Would it be ethical to include this patient as a subject?" June 10, 2021. https://academic.tips/question/a-28-year-old-male-is-admitted-with-bacterial-endocarditis-and-needs-a-replacement-of-his-prosthetic-heart-valve-after-his-first-replacement-he-continued-to-abuse-intravenous-drugs-the-medical-team/.


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Academic.Tips. "A 28-year-old male is admitted with bacterial endocarditis and needs a replacement of his prosthetic heart valve. After his first replacement, he continued to abuse intravenous drugs. The medical team feels it would be "futile" and a waste of medical resources to replace this heart valve yet again. Is the team's judgment appropriate in this case? What if the team had an available research study about valve replacement? Would it be ethical to include this patient as a subject?" June 10, 2021. https://academic.tips/question/a-28-year-old-male-is-admitted-with-bacterial-endocarditis-and-needs-a-replacement-of-his-prosthetic-heart-valve-after-his-first-replacement-he-continued-to-abuse-intravenous-drugs-the-medical-team/.

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"A 28-year-old male is admitted with bacterial endocarditis and needs a replacement of his prosthetic heart valve. After his first replacement, he continued to abuse intravenous drugs. The medical team feels it would be "futile" and a waste of medical resources to replace this heart valve yet again. Is the team's judgment appropriate in this case? What if the team had an available research study about valve replacement? Would it be ethical to include this patient as a subject?" Academic.Tips, 10 June 2021, academic.tips/question/a-28-year-old-male-is-admitted-with-bacterial-endocarditis-and-needs-a-replacement-of-his-prosthetic-heart-valve-after-his-first-replacement-he-continued-to-abuse-intravenous-drugs-the-medical-team/.

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