Ethics Case Study – 70

Imagine the case of a religiously orthodox couple. Their son is dying of cancer and needs a bone-marrow transplant. While the doctor is devoted to reducing pain and preserving life, the parents refuse permission to let the doctor give the necessary bone-marrow transplant. In their view faith alone does the healing and moreover, permitting the treatment would endanger the child’s life because it would issue from lack of faith. The doctor is dismissal of these ideas and puts off all treatment until the parents agree for the transplant. While the clashes between these two worldviews continue, the child dies.

Should the parents now be tried by the law for criminal neglect? Was the doctor also being stubborn and betraying weakness, or is he just being a doctor? Has the doctor violated his code of ethics too?

20 marks / 250 words.

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