If a mother faints in a hospital and her last words was to not give her daughter a blood transfusion, but the daughter is about to die.i have to decide what's the ethical thing to do

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, the ethical thing to do would be to give the daughter a transfusion.  But there is no clear legal rule about this so I might get in trouble for doing it.

Parents generally have the right to decide what medical treatment their children receive, but that is not always the case.  Different courts have ruled differently in various cases where doctors said a child should have a treatment but the parents refused.

If I were the doctor, I would give the transfusion immediately.  I would argue that the mother fainted and so I could not discuss it with her.  If I could have discussed it and tried to persuade her, I might have been able to change her mind.

Oh, yeah, this is assuming the daughter is a minor...

readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is sort of a no brainer. If a person is dying for the lack of blood and supposing a transfusion can help the person recover, then the only option is really to help by giving the transfusion. The mother may have rights over her own body, but it should not extend to that of another person. The rationale behind this decision is the value of a human life and the importance of sustaining it. The mother may have a different sent of reason and probably does. With that said, I can see the dilemma, since this is a real issue with some religious sects. However, in these cases, when life or death is involved, the preservation of life should be emphasized.