The sequence of events leading to Mrs Sparza’s death amount to euthanasia which is the act of a physician or a 3rd party ending the life of a terminally ill patient whose chances of revival are so minimal such that the law consider them not a person since they are in a vegetative state and cannot be considered as alive. (Otlowski 2000) Discussion The element of informed consent encompasses awareness and assent. This requires that the process is free from any duress that would render any assent previously given to be inoperative.
The element of disclosure ensures that a patient is given sufficient information that allows her and her agents to make an intelligent decision on whether to accept or reject the medical treatment. Thorough disclosure allows a patient to comprehend the medical condition and to take appropriate actions based on consultations with her doctor. The element of voluntariness ensures that there lacks coercion in the decision made by a patient. Coercion interferes with the decion making ability of the patient. The patient needs subjection to advice and support in order to make a voluntary judgement.
(Blank, R & Merrick, J 2005). The element of competence is crucial because it gives a patient the right to make a decision concerning her condition. Incompetence means that the patient is incapable of making the crucial decisons. Incompetence can be caused by age of the patient, cultural factors like language and emotional factors. The presence of an agent and a qualified physician is a necessity incase of such incompetence. The element of understanding gives information on the type and nature of the medical operations available for an ailment.
It gives her the understanding of the benefits and side effects of the procedure. The understanding on the risks attached gives the patient and her guardian information on the procedure. The elements of informed consent transforms to a sound decision making based on disclosure, voluntariness, competence and understanding. A decision on whether to accept or reject a medical procedure will be based on the elements. Mrs Sparza’s consent is deemed improper because it curtailed her right of making a rational decision in an area that was of vital importance to her as an individual.
The elements of free disclosure were wholly disregarded exposing her to making a decision based on her vulnerability. Comrehensive information and communication relevant for a patient to decide whether to accept or reject a medical procedure was not provided. Mrs Sparza’s action of objection on signing the consent form should have been interpreted as a reason to involve the family and fully communicate the hospitals decision for the surgery. Coercion prevailed when the doctor talked Mrs Sparz into consenting. The lack of voluntary judgement was an infringement on the right of free consent.
If there existed understanding Mrs Sparz would have known the side effects of the operation. She consented to the procedure with no knowledge that it would have put her vital organs namely the kidney and heart at risk. She was unaware of the risk attached to the operation. At 70 year old Mrs Sparz is considered as eldery. The linguistical barrier coupled with her old age made her incompetent legally. She made the decision in absence of her agent namely her son. Therefore her consent on the operation clearly disrespected her autonomy and her vulnerability. (Blank, R & Merrick, J 2005).