Paternalism vs. Patient Autonomy in Emergency Situations

Paternalism vs. Patient Autonomy in Emergency Situations SCENARIO: An individual is brought into an ED with many injuries post car wreck. He had no identification and he was alone when his car went off the road and crashed. Surgery will be necessary, but the extent of the injuries are not yet known. Although he is in excruciating pain, the ED physician orders only minimal pain medication. He wants the patient to be coherent and able to assist in the decision-making necessary for his care rather than be comfortable and unable to participate in the decision-making process. What are the ethical concerns raising by this practice? Argue BOTH sides of the issue, and include ethical theories/principles. Please include paternalism vs. patient autonomy and the theory of “first do no harm” and the theory of beneficence.

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