Consent/End of life – Case – Mod 5
Order Type:Case Study
Mrs. Sparza, a 70 year old grandmother with little English skills, is
scheduled for surgery of her right eye. Upon entry to the hospital,
she and her son review the general admission documents and Mrs. Sparza
signs them all. Mrs. Sparza also completed and executed a durable
power of attorney for health care. Mrs. Sparza identified her daughter
and son as her agents for decision making in the event that she became
incapacitated. Mrs. Sparza also specified that she did not wish any
heroic measures and that in the event she went into a coma she wanted
the life support terminated.
After changing into a patient gown and having her vital signs taken,
Mrs. Sparza is taken into the pre-operative room where she is placed
on a gurney. After administration of pre-operative muscle relaxant
medication, she is rolled into the operating room. Upon entering the
operating room, Mrs. Sparza is greeted by Nurse Johnson who asks Mrs.
Sparza to sign the surgical consent form. The form is in English and
identifies the procedure as surgery of both eyes. Mrs. Sparza is told
that she is scheduled for surgery of both eyes and is asked to sign
When Mrs. Sparza objects and refuses, Dr. Pinnette enters in his green
scrubbs and talks with Mrs. Sparza with the aid of an interpreter.
After a minute of conversation, with tears in her eyes, Mrs. Sparza
signs the consent form and is placed under general anesthesia. At six
a.m., on the next day of her hospitalization, Mrs. Sparza suffers a
heart attack and her kidneys ceased function. She subsequently went
into a coma. Her children were immediately notified and arrived at the
hospital at 8:30 a.m. When informed of the doctor’s decision to place
Mrs. Sparza on a dialysis machine, the son and daughter declined
consent and asked that life-support be terminated pursuant to the
Mrs. Sparza’s cardiologist, Dr. Lox, a world famous cardiac surgeon,
refused to give the nurses the order to terminate life-support. Dr.
Lox looked for every excuse to avoid the family. At the family’s
request, Mrs. Sparza’s nurses provided comfort care until 3:30 in the
afternoon of the next day. The two day ordeal was a long and
emotionally traumatic experience for Mrs. Sparza’s family, who
received relief when Mrs. Sparza’s nurse injected a fatal dose of
morphine to ease and expedite her death.
Evaluate and discuss the legal implications of the actions in the
foregoing scenario in light of the module materials and your own
research. Please be thorough in responding in an organized paper not
to exceed four pages.
Identify and briefly explain the elements of informed consent;
Discuss whether Mrs. Sparza’s consent was properly obtained;
Identify Mrs. Sparza’s rights regarding end-of-life decision making;
Discuss the nature of the act of injecting morphine. Was it legal?
Be sure to apply critical thinking skills from your analysis of the
current literaure on each component of this assignment- especially in
regard to #2 and #4 above.
6. Please utilize at least 3-5 scholarly sources and cite them both
within your paper (at the end of paraphrased information) and listed
at the end.