Decisions Near the End of Life: Resource Allocation Implications for Hospitals
Hofmann, Paul B.
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. 1992 Summer; 1(3): 229-237.
Conclusion: At a time when hospitals are having predictable difficulty accommodating infinite expectations with finite resources, there are still some observers who abhor even the possibility that the cost and volume of hospital services to the terminally ill be scrutinized. However, more assertive attention is justified on the basis of qualitative as well as quantitative evidence. Neither unrestricted medical paternalism nor total patient autonomy should be unequivocally endorsed. Both the physician and the patient have a mutual obligation and incentive to achieve a proper balance. This balance is dynamic rather than static because attitudes and values change, and advance directives are not immutable documents. Hospitals have a moral imperative to create an organizational environment in which a genuine collaborative decision-making process will ultimately benefit all participants.
Administrators; Advance Directives; Allowing to Die; Attitudes; Autonomy; Biomedical Technologies; Clinical Ethics; Clinical Ethics Committees; Consent; Decision Making; Economics; Environment; Ethics; Ethics Committees; Family Members; Futility; Health; Health Care; Hospitals; Intensive Care Units; Legal Aspects; Life; Paternalism; Patient Admission; Patient Participation; Physicians; Resource Allocation; Resuscitation; Resuscitation Orders; Terminal Care; Terminally Ill; Third Party Consent; Treatment Refusal; Values; Withholding Treatment;
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