Patients in the Persistent Vegetative State: A Response to Dr. Andrews
BMJ (British Medical Journal). 1993 Jun 12; 306(6892): 1602-1603.
The central moral objective of medicine -- adhered to by doctors and health care workers since Hippocratic times -- is to produce net medical benefit for the patient with as little harm as possible. Today we may add to that Hippocratic objective the moral qualifications that we should pursue it in a way that respects people's deliberated choices for themselves and that is just or fair to others (whether in the context of distribution of scarce resources, respect for people's rights, or respect for morally acceptable laws). This moral framework...is useful in analysing the various ethical questions posed by Andrews in his two papers in this issue of the
Advance Directives; Allowing to Die; Artificial Feeding; Consent; Decision Making; Doctors; Harm; Health; Health Care; Justice; Life; Laws; Medicine; Moral Policy; Patients; Persistent Vegetative State; Physicians; Prognosis; Prolongation of Life; Quality of Life; Rehabilitation; Resource Allocation; Rights; Risks and Benefits; Terminal Care; Value of Life; Withholding Treatment;
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