Choice and best interests: life-prolonging treatments

Fiona Randall and R. S. Downie

in End of Life Choices

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780199547333
Published online November 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191730405 | DOI:
Choice and best interests: life-prolonging treatments

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This chapter examines the concept of patient choice and best interest in relation to end of life care and life-prolonging treatments. It stresses the importance for professionals to understand the distinction between killing and letting die, and the lack of a moral distinction between decisions to withhold and those to withdraw life-prolonging treatments. It also explains the underlying ethical principles that may help give professionals confidence in following the proper process in a sensitive and compassionate way in the emotional climate of end of life care.

Keywords: treatments; best interest; moral distinctions; letting die; compassion

Chapter.  10568 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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