The Ethics of Decision Making for the Critically Ill Elderly
Iris, Madelyn Anne
Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. 1995 Spring; 4(2): 135-141.
In this paper I explore a set of factors that impact on the decision-making process. Because these factors emanate from a variety of disciplines and professions, it is difficult to create a unified model of the decision-making process encapsulated within a single framework. I believe, however, that anthropology provides us with a perspective or approach useful in explicating the varying points of view present, and the ways in which they interact or intersect. My focus is on medical decision making in particular, as old age in America today, as well as death and dying for all age groups, is a highly medicalized experience. Within the specter of medical decision making I include decisions made in both acute and long-term care facilities. Less is known about the types and patterns of decisions made in private settings, such as the home, when only family members or friends may be present. However, personal experience and anecodotal reports suggest that such decisions are qualitatively different in nature and warrant their own investigation.
Advance Directives; Aged; Allowing to Die; Anthropology; Autonomy; Biomedical Technologies; Chronically Ill; Competence; Critically Ill; Death; Decision Making; Dementia; Economics; Empirical Research; Ethics; Family Members; Friends; Health; Health Care; Health Care Delivery; Hospitals; Institutional Policies; Life; Long-Term Care; Methods; Nature; Nursing Homes; Patient Care; Patients; Physician Patient Relationship; Physicians; Prolongation of Life; Public Policy; Regulation; Research; Right to Die; Terminally Ill; Treatment Refusal; Values;
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