Terminating Life-Sustaining Treatment: Recent US Developments
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1988 Sep; 14(3): 135-139.
This paper reviews some recent litigation in the United States which addresses the difficult question of withdrawing food and hydration from both competent and incompetent patients. Whilst the decisions in question have manifested a trend towards favouring patient autonomy, they also indicate an underlying tension between doctors, health care facilities and their dying patients which is not yet close to resolution. The author suggests that the courts in the United States are likely to remain, for the foreseeable future, the final arbiters in that country of disputes relating to the termination of life-sustaining treatment.
Advance Directives; Aged; Allowing to Die; Artificial Feeding; Autonomy; Brain; Brain Death; Chronically Ill; Competence; Consent; Death; Decision Making; Determination of Death; Drugs; Doctors; Dying Patients; Food; Health; Health Care; Health Facilities; Institutional Policies; Judicial Action; Legal Aspects; Legal Liability; Legal Rights; Life; Liability; Patients; Physicians; Resuscitation; Resuscitation Orders; Review; Right to Die; Rights; Terminally Ill; Third Party Consent; Treatment Refusal; Withholding Treatment;
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