biomedical ethics

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1. Name some very important organs that are not vital organs.

stomach, small intestine, large intestine.


. List and functional description all the normal vital organs, including today’s exceptions.

it is the most important organ because it controls everything in your body. It is a super sense or sensory motor.

Brain stem:
The primary function of the brainstem is ensuring basic vital life functions such as heartbeat, blood pressure and breathing. It also plays a role in arousal and consciousness. Every piece of information that enters or leaves the brain must pass through this structure.

The function of both lungs in the respiratory system is to extract oxygen from the atmosphere, transfer it into the bloodstream, and release carbon dioxide from the bloodstream into the atmosphere by the process of gas exchange.

it takes in deoxygenated blood through the veins and delivers it to the lungs for oxygenation before pumping it into the various arteries (which provide oxygen and nutrients to body tissues by transporting the blood throughout the body).

It detoxifies various metabolites, synthesizes proteins, and produces biochemicals necessary for digestion. Its other roles in metabolism include regulating glycogen storage, decomposition of red blood cells, and the production of hormones.

It is an organ of the digestive system and endocrine system of vertebrates. The pancreas is a heterocrine gland, having both an endocrine and an exocrine digestive function. As an endocrine gland, it mainly regulates blood sugar levels, secreting the hormones insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, and pancreatic polypeptide. As a part of the digestive system, it functions as an exocrine gland secreting pancreatic juice into the duodenum through the pancreatic duct.

: The stomach is involved in the second phase of digestion in the digestive system, following chewing. It performs a chemical breakdown due to enzymes and hydrochloric acid.

Small intestine:
The primary function of the small intestine is the absorption of nutrients and minerals from food.

Large intestine
: It is the final section of the gastrointestinal tract that absorbs water and vitamins while converting digested food into feces.

: The kidneys’ primary function is to filter water, impurities, and wastes from the blood.

3. Is it possible to live without a vital organ? Why? Example?

The vital organs are the brain, heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys. These are organs that a person couldn’t live without if one or more of them were entirely removed. Nowadays, artificial heart is being experimented. Also, someone without a functional kidney can survive by being placed on dialysis for an extended period until they find a kidney donor.

4. Distinction between assisting or substituting vital organs. Bioethical analysis.

There is no bioethical obligation to substitute vital, but there is a bioethical obligation to assist vital organs. An essential organ may fall, making us not obligate to substitute a vital organ. When we are assisting vital organs, we give standard care to protect or help with the healing. Substituting is replacing the vital organ by some other means or by transplant.

5. Do the following practices assist or substitute the vital organ? Why?

a) Dialysis:
It is a procedure that is a substitute for many of the kidneys’ normal functions. Dialysis can allow individuals to live productive and useful lives, even though their kidneys no longer work adequately.

b) Respirator:
This method can assist but is not a substitute for the vital organ.

c) Ventilator:
It is an aid in breathing; aid in respiration is desired and promoted using ventilator.

d) Tracheotomy:
A tracheotomy is a surgical procedure in which a cut or opening is made in the windpipe (trachea). The surgeon inserts a tube into the opening to bypass an obstruction, allow air to get to the lungs, or remove secretions.

e) CPR:
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can assist or substitute depending on the age. Good CPR creates adequate blood flow and oxygen delivery to the heart and brain.
6. Read ERD Part 5 Introduction and make a detail summary

Christ has died to save us spiritually and morally. We should embrace death with the confidence of faith and remember that God has created each person for eternal life. As we face death, the Catholic community should support us, the patient, with love and respect. We should provide the appropriate care to the dying individual by addressing their pain and suffering appropriately during this painful and helpless ending. Life is a gift from God; we should respect and protect it. We don’t have ownership of it, and we cannot dispose of it. For the glory of God, we should preserve our life but not to the point we forget the actual purpose of life. It is not absolute to prolong life by artificial means if it turns out to be excessively burdensome. “Suicide and euthanasia are never morally acceptable.” In accordance with the patients, the physician should care for them even though they might not be able to cure. They should also discuss the usage of alternative machines that prolong life without any positive expectations while facing the dilemma of death if those machines are not used. To avoid euthanasia, the healthcare system should continue to provide basic care for even the severely or terminally ill patients since we must respect their dignity as a human.

7) Unconscious state: Definition.

Ability to maintain awareness of self and the environment: internal/ external (difficulties) is lost. The person lacks response to a painful stimulus. It involves a complete or near-complete lack of responsiveness to people and other environmental stimuli.

8. Clinical definitions of different states of unconsciousness: Compare and contrast


It is a state of deep unconsciousness that lasts for a prolonged or indefinite period, caused mainly by severe injury or illness. The Glasgow coma scale is used to evaluate the state of a patient’s coma.

b) Persistent vegetative state (PVS):
It is a condition in which a medical patient is completely unresponsive to psychological and physical stimuli and displays no sign of higher brain function, being kept alive only by medical intervention.

c) Traumatic brain injury (TBI):
TBI occurs due to a bump, blow, jolt, or any other head injury. It causes temporary or permanent damage to the head. Symptoms include loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes, headache, nausea or vomiting, problems with speech, dizziness or loss of balance, syncope, fainting, and a vegetative state.

d) Brain hypoxia:
It is a form of hypoxia or oxygen deficiency affecting the brain. It occurs when the brain does not receive enough oxygen even though blood is still flowing. When the oxygen supply is totally cut off, it is called brain anoxia.

e) Epileptic seizure:
A seizure, technically known as an epileptic seizure, is a period of symptoms due to abnormally excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain.

f) Syncope:
It is also known as fainting, which is a loss of consciousness and muscle strength characterized by a fast onset, short duration, and spontaneous recovery. It is caused by a decrease in blood flow to the brain, typically from low blood pressure. There are sometimes symptoms before losing consciousness, such as lightheadedness, sweating, pale skin, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, or feeling warm.

g) Other unconscious states (ex. Locked-in-syndrome):
It is also known as pseudo coma, a condition in which a patient is aware but cannot move or communicate verbally due to complete paralysis of nearly all voluntary muscles in the body except for vertical eye movements and blinking.

9. Benefit vs Burden bioethical analysis.

Life is a gift from God, and we must protect life but not to the point it could be causing a burden to the family with a high cost without a positive outcome. The patient should gain the most advantage from their treatment. It becomes a burden when the patient is trying to be treated even though there is no guaranteed cure at an excessive price or stress on the family. The well-being of a patient should always be considered in any therapeutic decision-making.


*Retrieved from:

* Retrieved from:

*Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, 6th Edition. (2018) U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Washington, DC. Part 5 Introduction.


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