Ethics and Law in the Field of Medical Care for the Elderly in France
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1997 Aug; 23(4): 233-238.
The authors discuss law and ethics when medical decisions are to be taken by patients who are unable in any valid sense to express their own wishes. The main problem in legal terms is to protect an individual's free will as far as possible and ensure that his or her wishes, if known, are respected. If a patient's independent wishes cannot be known, then we must at least ensure that nothing is imposed which is not in his interest. Legal measures, however, are far from adequate in resolving all the concrete problems that emerge. The field of ethics does bring some better adapted solutions, but none is laid down in law. One such approach, involving a multidisciplinary advisory group in a department of geriatrics, is discussed.
Aged; Allowing to Die; Artificial Feeding; Bioethical Issues; Clergy; Clinical Ethics; Clinical Ethics Committees; Communication; Competence; Consent; Decision Making; Dementia; Depressive Disorder; Ethics; Ethics Committees; Family Members; Freedom; Guardians; Hospitals; Informed Consent; Interdisciplinary Communication; Law; Lawyers; Legal Aspects; Legal Guardians; Life; Nurses; Patient Advocacy; Patient Care; Patient Care Team; Patients; Physicians; Prolongation of Life; Third Party Consent; Withholding Treatment;
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Legislation: Disease Control and Medical Care: France: Circular DGS/DH/96 No. 235 of 2 April 1996 on the Priority Objectives for 1996 in the Field of Activities Relating to Transplants of Organs, Tissues, and Cells of the Human Body and The Modalities Governing Cooperation With the French Transplant Establishment in Carrying Out These Objectives, Particularly as Regards the Examination of Files Unknown creator (1996)