Gather Relevant Information: Esther is a 72-year-old female who has been admitted to the
hospital with a diagnosis of dehydration and bruises from a fall sustained in her home. She lives
alone and has no immediate family, besides an estranged sister who she has not seen for years.
She has a previous history of paranoia which is under control with medications. The emergency
medical team has reported her living conditions as filthy, with clothes strung everywhere, sink
full of dirty dishes and cat droppings everywhere.
Five days later Esther seems confused about where she is but does know her own name. She is
conveying her desire to “let her out”, and she is demanding to go home. The medical staff
expresses concern about her safety of living alone, and feels it would be better for her at a
nursing home or assisted living facilities. Her friend Anna and a local priest, who visit her
regularly disagree and feel that Esther should be given another chance to prove she is able to
live on her own.
Identify The Type Of Ethical Problem: This would be ethical dilemma. Esther wants to go home
and not go into an assisted living facility. The medical staff feels it would be in Esther’s best
interest to move into some sort of institution to monitor her care. Her friend and local priest
feel that she should be given another chance to prove that she can live on her own.
Use Ethics Theories Or Approaches To Analyze The Problem: The obvious one is the principle of
normaleficence, the medical team is concerned and feels that they would be doing Esther
“harm” by sending her home to live on her own. But we also need to look at it from a different
approach. Health care is a right, although the medical team has concerns about her safety, the
decision is ultimately Esther’s “right”. In order for her to live on her own, some conditions have
to be met on Esther’s part.
Explore The Practical Alternatives: There are several...