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PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 5 Tonya's Case: Ethics and Professional Codes CM

Tonya’s Case

PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 5 Tonya’s Case: Ethics and Professional Codes CM

Tonya is a 13 year old that presented with an ACL injury that was to be repaired. Tonya’s surgery went as planned but on the way from recovery to her room she went into cardiac arrest. The medical staff was able to restore Tonya’s cardiac function but she was intubated and placed on a ventilator. With further evaluation from the medical team Tonya’s parents were informed that Tonya had suffered irreversible brain damage and was considered brain dread. The family was informed that the only option for Tonya would be to turn the ventilator off and let nature peruse. Tonya’s family insisted that she was still alive and just needed time to heal. In this paper we will talk about some ethical and moral issues that could arise in this or similar situations. We will also evaluate the code of ethics as well as the mission and vision statements here at Community Hospital.

Ethical Principles/Codes

Some important ethical principles for the health care team to consider in Tonya’s case would be respect for the persons involved, Tonya and her family, and non-maleficence. Respect and compassion as the family grieve and try to come to terms with this horrific situation they unexpectedly found themselves in. The health care professionals also need to evaluate how and when they say what needs to be said to help the family come to term with what is happening. The health care team would also need to ensure they are causing no harm, non-maleficence, as they have the obligation to not only cause no pain or suffering to the patient but to ensure they are not causing the family to feel that their goal is to harvest organ or deprive Tonya of life. When people are in shock and suffering they may not perceive things the way they are meant to be perceived. The professional code of ethics focuses on respect, respect and dignity for the patient but also for the family or others involved (Ahmadian, et al., 2019). I believe respect, honesty and compassion will have a huge impact in this situation and help the family make an informed decision as well as help them deal with the effects of that decision.

PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 5 Tonya’s Case: Ethics and Professional Codes CM

Moral Theories

The utilitarian view is to never harm another person, one question that could arise would be, are we harming the patient by keeping the body alive with machines or would we cause harm by turning the machines off. In view of the utilitarian theory one must act rather than just wait and see what happens. Because the term brain dead is considered dead, it is believed that these patients cannot be harmed. The Kantian view considers the moral character of the action not the consequences. The health care team in Tonya’s case has given no indication that they have an ulterior motive, even second opinions have made it clear that Tonya is brain dead. It is clear that in dealing with delicate situations like Tonya’s one should assess the situation and the feelings of the family per Ross’s moral theory. Natural law would tell one to let nature take its course, which could be turn off the machines, if the patient is able to sustain life then so be it. One thing that makes this case so difficult is the fact that to the family Tonya appears to be alive so the words “brain dead” may not mean anything to them ( Rady, et al., 2018). 

Mission/ Values/Vision

Our Mission statement is, Leading our Region to a Healthier Future. What I would like to focus more on would be our Vision here at Community Hospital which is, Cultivating healthy Communities though progressive and proactive care. One way to grow and be proactive is to spread awareness, to educate our communities before these tragic events occur. The more we can educate and spread awareness the more we are truly being proactive and progressive and truly lead our region. Our core values are, excellence, integrity, compassion and ownership. We will continue to help our community members thought education and awareness while showing compassion and integrity. Excellence is something we will forever work towards, nothing is ever excellent in all areas at all times.   

Accrediting Bodies

PHI FPX 3200 Assessment 5 Tonya’s Case: Ethics and Professional Codes CM

Community hospital is governed by, Det Norske Veritas (DNV) which is an accreditation program that addresses regulatory requirements for hospitals according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) guidelines. The purpose of the DNV is to provide guidance and best practice for healthcare organizations. The DNV policy states that the facility must appoint an individual as the, Chief executive, and that person is legally responsible for all ethical conduct as well as all services provided and has full legal authority and responsibility. Here at Community Hospital there is an ethics committee that includes but is not limited to a social worker, minister, physician and the chief executor. In Tonya’s case this committee would involve all interested persons, come to a conclusion and meet with the family (Community Hospital)


While the concept of, brain death, is medically, ethically and legally accepted, inconsistencies in determining brain death does exist (Choi, et al., 2008). I believe that it is the health care team’s ethical and moral obligation to do everything possible to gently help Tonya’s family understand that her brain injuries are irreversible and that without the machines she is not compatible with life. The health care team has an obligation to be honest and open with the family while maintaining respect and dignity to Tonya as well as her family. Offering an exam by a neurologist, support from ancillary staff such as social services and providing as much education and information about quality of life, dignity and grief may help the family make an informed decision for Tonya.


Ahmadian, S., Rahimi, A., & Khaleghi, E. (2019). Outcomes of Organ Donation in Brain-dead Patient’s Families: Nursing Ethics, 26(1), 256-269.                                        https://doi.org?10.1177?096733017703696

Choi, E-K., Fredland, V., Zachodni, C., & Lamers, J. (2008). Brain death revisited: the case for national standard. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 36 (4), 824-836

Rady, M. Y. & Verheijde, J. L. (2018). The Moral Code in Islam and Organ Donation in Western Countries: reinterpreting religious scriptures to meet utilitarian medical objectives. Philosophy, ethics, and humanities in medicine, PEHM, 9, 11. https://doi.org/10.1186/1747-5341-9-11

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