Kenneth Iserson is an emergency physician and bioethicist who has been writing about ethics in the ER for several decades. He has outlined a rubric for making decisions that consists of two questions:
- Is this dilemma a type of ethical problem for which you have already worked out a rule, or is it at least similar enough that the rule could be reasonably extended to cover the situation? (Yes? --> USE THE RULE! / No? --> Ask question #2)
- Is there an option which will buy you time for deliberation without excessive risk to the patient? (Yes? --> TAKE THAT OPTION! / No? --> Use a reliable reasoning technique.)
What kind of delay tactics might be appropriate in question #2?