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Pulling the Plug on Biased Medical Articles

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Submitted By spartan42
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Pulling the Plug on Biased Medical Articles

Gavin Flanagan
ENG 101
Professor Gallo
3 April 2016

Christine Mitchell’s “When Living Is a Fate Worse Than Death” shows just how much bias an author can shove into one article. First the only case she presents seems to be hand-picked to be the perfect example for her philosophy instead of presenting a variety of cases that would back her viewpoint. In addition, the author feels that all cases should be left up to a decision made by staff and family together no matter what the situation. Unfortunately, she completely disregards the fact that because it involves their minor child, it is the parents’ decision; the hospital can advise, but the parents ultimately decide. Mitchell’s “When Living Is a Fate Worse Than Death” illustrates an opinionated, insensitive bias by presenting only one extreme case and disregarding the fact that such decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis that is based on the parents’ decision. Even the title of the article shows the author’s biased opinion on whether continuing to live is worse than the patient passing on. In the case presented, it is evident that continued revival would eventually be unsuccessful and it would be best for the parents to let their daughter go, but the problem is that the author only presents this one extreme case. In addition, it seems as if she went out of her way to find the perfect case to present her point. She presents no statistics and no medical studies to back her claims, but uses her position as a medical ethicist to lend credence that her viewpoint is fact, not opinion. Mitchell says, “As a hospital ethicist, a large part of my job is helping staff and families distinguish between sustaining life and prolonging death” (para. 504). This clearly shows her bias by stating that it is her job to make the distinction if the patient is better…...

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