Ethical Decisions in Discontinuing Mechanical Ventilation
Schneiderman, Lawrence J.
Spragg, Roger G.
New England Journal of Medicine. 1988 Apr 14; 318(15): 984-988.
To determine the advisability of discontinuing mechanical ventilation, the authors propose a hierarchy of decision making levels that is consistent with a developing ethical and legal consensus. The use of mechanical ventilation is not obligatory if it will not contribute to preserving life or alleviating suffering. The patient's right to give informed consent to, or refusal of, mechanical ventilation should not be violated and, in discontinuing mechanical ventilation at the patient's request, the physician should ensure that the patient has no discomfort. If medical indications and the patient's wishes are unclear, the physician must weigh the benefits against the burdens of treatment and act in the patient's best interests. (KIE abstract)
Advance Directives; Allowing to Die; Autonomy; Case Studies; Consensus; Consent; Decision Making; Drugs; Extraordinary Treatment; Informed Consent; Life; Patients; Physicians; Prognosis; Quality of Life; Resource Allocation; Right to Die; Risks and Benefits; Selection for Treatment; Standards; Suffering; Third Party Consent; Ventilators; Withholding Treatment;
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