Dying Patients: Who's in Control?

  title={Dying Patients: Who's in Control?},
  author={James F. Childress},
  journal={Law, Medicine and Health Care},
  pages={227 - 231}
  • J. Childress
  • Published 1 September 1989
  • Medicine
  • Law, Medicine and Health Care
The President’s Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research undertook a study of “Deciding to Forego LifeSustaining Treatment” because this issue seemed to the commissioners “to involve some of the most important and troubling ethical and legal questions in modern medicine,” even though it was not part of the commission’s original legislative mandate. In submitting the report to the President, Morris Abrams, the chairman of the commission… Expand
To CPR or not to CPR? That is the question
An advance directive—a legal document in which a person outlines his or her end-of-life care—can be helpful in situations like these, when an unresponsive patient is rushed into the emergency department and the family demands immediate attention. Expand
Withdrawal of Nutrition Support in a Neurosurgical Patient in a Persistent Vegetative State
A case of a neurosurgical patient diagnosed as being in a permanent vegetative state, it was decided to terminate ventilatory support but continue enteral nutrition and hydration therapy, and in spite of the discontinuation of ventilatories support, the patient did not expire. Expand


President's Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research.
  • Henry J. Hyde
  • Medicine
  • Congressional record : proceedings and debates of the ... Congress. United States. Congress
  • 1978
I can well understand your concern with the phrase from the authors' staff background paper to which you refer in your letter, but no insinuation should be taken from this phrase that the Commission does not believe that "at least the fact of birth would entitle one to be considered a member of the human family". Expand
The legal status of consent obtained from families of adult patients to withhold or withdraw treatment.
The author suggests that the most prudent course would be to direct health care providers to accept family decisions unless it appears that the family is acting out of ignorance or in bad faith, in which case the decision would be referred to a hospital ethicist or ethics committee and then to judicial review. Expand
Does the DNR order need life-sustaining intervention? Time for comprehensive advance directives.
  • L. Emanuel
  • Medicine
  • The American journal of medicine
  • 1989
It is argued that the DNR decision must subsume into comprehensive and early health care directives, and different approaches to early comprehensive directives are outlined. Expand
How much should the cancer patient know and decide?
It is argued that family wishes, in general, do not set an acceptable external limit on what the competent patient may know and decide and will use this framework to illustrate several problems related to disclosing diagnostic and prognostic problems. Expand
The living will. Help or hindrance?
The living will is a statement that directs physicians to act in certain ways during a patient's terminal phase of illness, designed to promote patient autonomy while removing onerous decision making from physicians and the patients' families. Expand
Must patients always be given food and water?
It is concluded that, in certain limited cases, malnutrition and dehydration need not be corrected and that nutrition and hydration are not distinguishable morally from other life-sustaining treatments that may on occasion be withheld or withdrawn. Expand
Principles of Biomedical Ethics (third ed
  • 1989
American journa2 of Medicine, 19 89, 4. For a good discussion, see Norman I>. Cantor, Legal Frontiers of Death and Dying
  • 1987
Childlress, “Must patients Always Be Given Food and Water?
  • Hustings Center Report 86:87-90
  • 1983