Category Archives: Withdrawal/Withholding of Care

The Need for Transparency when Withholding or Withdrawing Life Sustaining Treatment Standard

    The salient ethical and moral principle applicable to physicians’ responsibilities in following a patient’s rejection of artificial life sustaining treatment is the transparency of the conduct of all physicians, medical staff and fundamental understanding by the family and or friends as to what is being done and how it is being done.     It must be kept in mind that the distinguishing factor between terminal withdrawal or withholding of artificial life sustaining treatment and euthanasia is the patient’s rejection of treatment, either directly or through a properly informed surrogate, of artificial life sustaining treatment. Unambiguous documentation must set forth…

Capacity: What do we need know about patients before we can do what they tell us to do? Standard

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…