Ethical Dilemmas of Brain Failure in the Elderly
Robertson, George S.
BMJ (British Medical Journal). 1983 Dec 10; 287(6407): 1775-1777.
Doctors caring for patients with senile dementia are faced with the dilemma of making treatment decisions for dying, incompetent persons whose lives can be prolonged but not enhanced by modern medical technology. British physician Robertson explores the idea of encouraging elderly people to sign a written declaration of their treatment preferences if afflicted with an incurable dementia. Such a move could help relieve many elderly of their fears of a prolonged, undignified death; encourage physicians to incorporate patients' expressed wishes into treatment decisions; improve the image of geriatric medicine; and clarify public objectives in medical care of the aged. (KIE abstract)
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