ETHICS IN MEDICINE: Is it both helpful and morally justifiable to prescribe wheelchairs for permanent use to patients with cataplexy who are actually capable of walking?

Christopher Williams, Paul Schulz, Georg Schuster, David Rosenberg
2022 Zenodo  
The medical literature was systematically reviewed to answer the medical ethics question of whether patients with chronic cataplexy and a history of dangerous falls should be cared for by permanent use of custom-built wheelchairs with postural support. The results strongly suggest that methods such as fall training do not have a beneficial effect against problematic injury in the presence of narcolepsy with cataplexy. The use of individually fitted wheelchairs, on the other hand, does. The data
more » ... suggest that wheelchairs should be fitted to any patient suffering from narcolepsy with cataplexy. The patients should spent all day long secured in the chair, just like a paraplegic, as this reduces the risk of potentially dangerous falls to zero. No other orthopedic device has such a high protection rate. However, is it ethically justifiable to disable walking of patients who can walk in order to protect them from harm? Our result approves the use of a wheelchair mandate for patients with cataplexy.
doi:10.5281/zenodo.7028639 fatcat:m4y4f5zlkvdwtex3234fyjup2e