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Bouvia Versus The Supreme Court Essay

396 words - 2 pages

Ethically, the medical staff enforced their code of ethics by doing what was necessary for the patients’ health. The medical professionals in this case did what they thought was the right thing to do by inserting a feeding tube to make sure that Bouvia was receiving the proper nutrition. In healthcare there are several professional standards in which they need to abide by in order to deliver the highest level of quality of care that is necessary for the better health of the patient. For instance, healthcare professionals are to “only perform procedures [they] have been trained and are legally able to do; use only approved, ...view middle of the document...

By definition, legal obligations are “dut[ies] that [are] enforced by a court of law” Legally, they were unable to perform the procedure due to the fact that Bouvia did not consent to the procedure. After researching the legal obligations of a healthcare professional, there are several laws in which medical staff need to abide by legally. The 42 U.S. Code § 1320c–5 states that a practitioner will provide quality in which “meets professionally recognized standards of health care” (42 U.S. Code § 1320c–5 - Obligations of health care practitioners and providers of health care services; sanctions and penalties; hearings and review, n.d.). Legally, medical professionals need to have consent from the patient, or their medical power of attorney to perform any procedure. The medical staff has a code of ethics that they have to abide by when making decisions regarding a patient and their lives. Elizabeth Bouvia did not consent to the feeding tube and the medical staff used their ethical judgement to perform the procedure anyway.


42 U.S. Code § 1320c–5 - Obligations of health care practitioners and providers of health care services; sanctions and penalties; hearings and review. (n.d.). Retrieved from Legal Information Institute: Cornell University Law School:

Bouvia v. Superior Court (Glenchur) , B019134 (Court of Appeals of California, Second Appellate District, Division Two April 16, 1986).

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