Chapter

Best interests: extended senses

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547333.003.0011
Best interests: extended senses

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This chapter examines the issue of end of life care patients' ‘best interests’ in its various extended forms. It analyses the controversial view of specialist palliative care that the unit of care is the patient and relatives and that the best interests of the relatives must also be considered in making clinical decisions. Whole person or holistic care is acceptable as an aim of end of life care, but the term must be used with caution because a patient's wholeness extends well beyond anything that health care interventions at the end of life can encompass. The aims of end of life care should include the sensitive provision to patients of information about their illness in order to enable them to take part in decisions and lessen emotional distress.

Keywords: specialist palliative care; best interests; emotional distress; holistic care; clinical decisions; health care interventions

Chapter.  11230 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine

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