Analysis of Power in Medical Decision-Making: An Argument for Physician Autonomy
Koch, Kathryn A.
Meyers, Bruce W.
Law, Medicine and Health Care. 1992 Winter; 20(4): 320-326.
Two of the patient's rights in a Uniform Act for the Terminally Ill should be a) the right to be treated if there is reasonable doubt of the patient's wishes until it becomes clear that the treatment is not beneficial and that the patient is indeed terminally ill, and b) the right not to be subjected to treatment with no medical benefit. A physician with appropriate supporting independent opinions would be the logical individual to whom the responsibility of protecting those rights should be given. This is particularly true when the patient is incapable of his or her own medical decisions and has left no instructions regarding his or her personal goals in medical care in the event of severe illness. Two cases and an analysis of power in medical decision-making illustrate these points.
Allowing to Die; Autonomy; Case Studies; Communication; Consent; Dissent; Family Members; Futility; Goals; Intensive Care Units; Illness; Life; Mass Media; Patient Care; Physician Patient Relationship; Physicians; Professional Autonomy; Prognosis; Prolongation of Life; Power; Quality of Life; Religion; Renal Dialysis; Resuscitation; Resuscitation Orders; Rights; Technical Expertise; Terminally Ill; Third Party Consent; Values;
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