Ethical Issue: Quality Treatment vs. Patient’s Desire

Analyze a situation in which the doctor has to make a choice between quality treatment and the patient’s desire, which is contrary to the treatment process.

A Roman Catholic Christian 58-year-old schoolteacher suffered a stroke that left her with severe deficits. She would be unable to walk on her own, feed herself, or be independent of full assistance for the remainder of her life. She is breathing on her own but is receiving nutrients through a feeding tube, which was surgically inserted into her stomach. Her husband wants the doctor to remove the feeding tube and permit the effects of the stroke to take their natural course. The doctor is uncomfortable removing the feeding tube because she believes it is necessary to sustain life. If you were the husband, how would you proceed?