Ethical dilemmas are commonplace in clinical cardiology. There has been a recent focus on ethical behaviour of cardiologists and debate about resource allocation and cost effectiveness of new technologies.
We present the case of an intravenous drug addict with native aortic valve endocarditis complicated by cerebral abscess and severe aortic regurgitation to illustrate some common ethical and moral dilemmas.
We discuss the predominant theories in medical ethics, including the ‘Four Principles Approach’, and present a model that can be used to translate these ethical theories into a clinical decision-making tool.
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