Withholding and Withdrawing Life Sustaining Treatment From Elderly People: Towards Formal Guidelines
BMJ (British Medical Journal). 1994 Jun 25; 308(6945): 1689-1692.
Clinicians often decide either to withhold or to withdraw lifesaving treatment in elderly patients. Considerable disagreement exists about the circumstances in which such actions can be defended. Debates about the scarcity of resources in the NHS add urgency to the need to resolve this disagreement. Competent elderly patients have a legal and moral right to decide whether to receive life sustaining treatment. Such treatment should not be withheld or withdrawn on the basis of a patient's age alone. Principles for making decisions about life sustaining treatment in incompetent elderly patients can be defended and should exist as written guidelines.
Age Factors; Aged; Allowing to Die; Brain; Brain Pathology; Competence; Consent; Decision Making; Dementia; Futility; Guidelines; Human Rights; Legal Aspects; Legal Obligations; Legal Rights; Life; Moral Obligations; Moral Policy; Pain; Patient Participation; Patients; Personhood; Physicians; Prolongation of Life; Quality of Life; Rights; Scarcity; Selection for Treatment; Self Concept; Suffering; Treatment Refusal; Withholding Treatment;
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