Tag Archives: withdrawing life sustaining treatment

Genetic Bastards: The Moral Status and Human Worth of Persons Born By In-Vitro Fertilization Reproductive Technololoy

The Vatican and the 2004 President’s Council On Bioethics establishes a second class group of persons who they deem less worthy of dignity and respect. On September 8, 2008, the Vatican issued a new statement on bioethics entitled “Dignitas Personae on certain bioethical questions.”  The Vatican’s paper updates church doctrine regarding the ethics and morality of individuals and the duties and authority of physicians in using in-vitro fertilization (IVF).  The Vatican has always demanded absolute and unconditional recognition of the respect and dignity owed to all persons from the time of conception.  This does not apply to persons conceived by…

Capacity: What do we need know about patients before we can do what they tell us to do? Withdrawal/Withholding of Care

A person may lack capacity to decide certain things and have capacity to do others. A person may be lack the capacity to decide sophisticated financial affairs, but have the capacity  to make medical decisions for themselves. The magnitude of the risk involved and the medical intervention contemplated is central to assessments of capacity. A decision to install a PICC line has a different level of risk than extubating (withdrawal of care) in a patient who clearly requires assistance in breathing. So, we can accept a  consent to a PICC line but not  necessarily to extubate. Levels of capacity vary…