Scholarly Articles and Other Contributions
 

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

End-of-life decision making by health care providers must respect individual patient values. Indeed, these values must always be viewed as the baseline for developing and pursuing patient-centered palliative care for those with terminal illness. Co-ordinate with this fundamental bioethics principle is that of beneficence or, in other words, respect for conduct which benefits the dying patient by alleviating end-stage suffering — be it physical or existential. Compassion, charity, agape and/or just common sense, should be a part of setting normative standards and of legislative and judicial responses to the task of managing death. Aided by the principles of medical futility, palliative care protocols, greater acceptance of a patient’s right to refuse treatment, and a spirit of basic humaneness, an ethic of adjusted care that seeks to secure dignity during the dying process without unreasonable interference by the state should be validated.

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