Accuracy and bias in perceptions of spouses' life-sustaining medical treatment
Furthermore, a physician who withdraws, or honors a patient's refusal to begin life-sustaining medical treatment
purposefully intends, or may so intend, only to respect his patient's wishes and to cease doing useless and futile or degrading things to the patient when the patient no longer stands to benefit from them.
Ditto et al., "Stability of Older Adults' Preferences for Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment
," Health Psychology 22, no.
The use of increasingly scarce healthcare resources to provide life-sustaining medical treatment
which prolongs life but may worsen the quality of that life may not be in the best interests of society.
Life-sustaining medical treatments
include "the dramatic measures of contemporary practice such as organ transplantation, respirators, kidney (dialysis) machines, and vasoactive drugs, it also includes less technically demanding measures such as antibiotics, insulin, chemotherapy, and nutrition and hydration provided intravenously or by tube" (AAP, 1994, p.
In "When Atlas Shrugs: May the State Wash its Hands of Those in Need of Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment
?", O'Callaghan observes that the absence of an objective standard guiding the judgment of physicians or the review committee means that TADA immunizes all denials of LSMT under its review process, whether they are entirely arbitrary, negligent, reckless, or made with malice and the intent of harming or killing the patient.
Likewise, the American Academy of Pediatrics addresses similar issues in its guidelines on forgoing life-sustaining medical treatment
Director, Missouri Department of Health, which held that a person has a due process right to refuse life-sustaining medical treatment
. (497 U.S.
[The law recognises the right of a competent adult to make an advance refusal of life-sustaining medical treatment
. However, this right is not unqualified and there are circumstances in which a health professional or a court will be permitted to disregard an advance directive.
According to the RCPCH (2004), there are five situations where it may be ethical and legal to consider withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining medical treatment
. The five situations are brain death, permanent vegetative state, no chance to recover from a severe illness, a no purpose situation with severe physical or mental impairment, and an unbearable situation in which progressive and irreversible illness cannot be borne.
[T]he Due Process Clause protects an interest in life as well as an interest in refusing life-sustaining medical treatment
life-sustaining medical treatment
, including cardiopulmonary