Dealing With the Brain-Damaged Old -- Dignity Before Sanctity
Robertson, George S.
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1982 Dec; 8(4): 173-179.
Robertson discusses the medical and ethical issues involved in providing health care for Britain's growing population of hospitalized elderly, particularly patients suffering from advanced cerebral disease. He rejects the extreme solutions of either all-out clinical efforts to prolong life or active euthanasia, and outlines five factors that should be taken into account when deciding appropriate treatment for senile patients. While agreeing with many of Robertson's points, Hebbert questions his assumptions that there is competition between young and old for health resources and that living wills are valuable in guiding later treatment decisions. (KIE abstract)
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