Treating the Brain Dead for the Benefit of the Family
Journal of Clinical Ethics. 1991 Spring; 2(1): 53-56.
The law -- and almost all medical ethicists and physicians -- insists upon an exclusively patient-centered ethics. There is virtual unanimity within medical ethics that treatment must serve the interests of the patient, at least within limits posed by the just distribution of scarce medical resources. A patient-centered ethics means that the interests of the patient cannot be sacrificed to promote the interests of others -- not the interests of society, not the interests of other patients, not the interests of the family, and certainly not the interests of the hospital staff or the physician.
Attitudes; Attitudes to Death; Autonomy; Beneficence; Brain; Brain Death; Consent; Death; Deception; Determination of Death; Diagnosis; Disclosure; Ethicists; Ethics; Family Members; Futility; Law; Legal Aspects; Life; Medical Ethics; Moral Policy; Paternalism; Patient Care; Patients; Physicians; Prolongation of Life; Psychological Stress; Risks and Benefits; Third Party Consent; Truth Disclosure; Withholding Treatment;
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Hardwig, John (1990)The prevalent ethic of patient autonomy ignores family interests in medical treatment decisions. Acknowledging these interests as legitimate forces basic changes in ethical theory and the moral practice of medicine.