Bartling v. Superior

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Bartling v. Superior Melissa Wells Rasmussen College Medical Law and Ethics Bartling v. Superior In this case, a mentally competent patient (Bartling) was forced to use a ventilator against his wishes. At the time of his admission, Bartling was suffering from pulmonary emphysema, atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, coronary arteriosclerosis, an abdominal aneurysm and lung cancer. A needle biopsy of Mr. Bartling's left lung caused it to collapse. Attempts to inflate his lung failed and a mechanical ventilator was soon attached by way of a tracheostomy. Mr. Bartling remained on the ventilator until the time of his death on November 6, 1984. He had several medical illnesses and did not want the ventilator despite knowing that it being removed would speed his death. He repeatedly asked for it to be removed and when refused, he tried to remove it himself. He was then restrained to prevent him from removing it. I believe the hospital had no right to force him to have the ventilator. There was no chance of his recovery and efforts to wean him from the machine were unsuccessful. I believe everyone should have a right to decide if they want to die. In my own case, I would never, under any circumstances, want to be forced to use a ventilator. I believe if I cannot breathe under my own power, then I am not meant to live. In my opinion, being confined to bed and only staying alive by artificial means is not living. Mr. Bartling had a living will signed stating that he understood that having the ventilator removed will very likely cause respiratory failure and ultimately lead to his death.and that he was willing to accept that risk. He also had several documents stating very clearly that he did not want to continue living an artificial life finding it to be unbearable, degrading and dehumanizing. He, his wife and daughter also executed documents which released the

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