pancreatic cancer

Donald Hamilton, an alert 55 year old man, was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer. His prognosis was poor; he was given about six months to live he underwent several series of chemotherapy treatments, but they were of no benefit he continued to lose weight, suffered from nausea, and became weaker. After three months of chemotherapy treatments he stated that the wanted no further treatment. He became bedridden and was admitted into a nursing home for terminal care. Donald’s son, who lived in another state, arrived at the nursing home and demanded that his father’s physician be called immediately. The son wanted his father to be hospitalized and placed on chemotherapy immediately. When the physician explained that there was little hope for the father’s recovery, the son threatened to sue the physician for withdrawal of care.

1. Identify the ethical issues in the case

2. In your opinion, does the son have a legitimate reason to sue the physician? Why or why not?

3. What are the possible solutions to this case?

4. What might the physician have done to prevent the confrontation with Donald’s son?