A patient is in a coma that appears irreversible. His mother, who is his surrogate, firmly believes that he will recover and that God will work a miracle if everyone will just wait long enough. She wants everything done for the patient, including resuscitation if he arrests. She insists that he stay in the hospital, and is very upset that he has been transferred out of the ICU and his care moved to comfort measures, rather than aggressive treatment. The mother does not speak English but seems strong in her religious beliefs. The physicians for the patient are very upset and concerned about continuing to provide care that they believe is futile. The patient is developing a serious pneumonia, and the mother wants it treated aggressively. The physicians are reluctant. Analyze this case from the ethical principles of justice, benevolence, nonmalfeasance, and autonomy.
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