Friday, December 10, 2010

Medical Liability When Withholding Care 2

Here's Part 2 of an interesting piece discussing medical liability in issues surrounding withholding care. Part 1 is below.
Physician Liability: Withdrawing and Withholding Life Sustaining Care From a Conscious, Non Terminal, Incompetent Patients – Part II
There are different standards that must be appreciated and respected before a physician can support a decision to withdraw life sustaining treatment from a non terminal and incompetent patient.
This scenario requires the highest degree of protection for the patient. Our fundamental rights are the most important when we are the most vulnerable. Patients in this category are weak, often confused and subject to the effect of bias and undue influence. When illness requires life sustaining treatment family members may experience sympathy for the patient as well as opportunity to end their burden of caring for the patient. Some family members have said to others: "you have done so much, your life has been put on hold, how can we afford to pay for this care, etc. This can result in a request to withdraw or withhold artificial life support for what may be seen as being in every one's best interest. This often occurs in adult children caring for an elderly parent or spouse. more

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