"Make Me Live": Autonomy and Terminal Illness
Misbin, Robert I.
Miller, David H.
Hastings Center Report. 1990 Sep/Oct; 20(5): 42-44.
A cancer patient who is close to death insists that everything be done to keep her alive, including resuscitation. Her family and physicians have accepted the fact that further aggressive treatment is futile. Misbin and Miller debate whether the patient's attending physician should write a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order without informing her. Both commentators agree that a patient's autonomous decision should be respected. Misbin argues that an autonomous choice is one made from available options, but that this patient's demand for care is unrealistic. Her physician should write the DNR order without telling the patient if further attempts to discuss her condition with her fail. Miller offers arguments that substantiate a patient's claim to make the resuscitation decision. He concludes that, in this case, protection of the patient's autonomy is the paramount concern and the DNR should not be written without her consent. (KIE abstract)
Attitudes; Attitudes to Death; Autonomy; Beneficence; Cancer; Communication; Consent; Death; Decision Making; Disclosure; Futility; Informed Consent; Illness; Life; Motivation; Patient Participation; Patients; Physician Patient Relationship; Physicians; Prognosis; Prolongation of Life; Resuscitation; Resuscitation Orders; Terminal Care; Terminally Ill;
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