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Discontinuing treatment of the critically ill patient 

Discontinuing treatment of the critically ill patient

Chapter:
Discontinuing treatment of the critically ill patient
Author(s):

M.J. Lindop

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199204854.003.1708
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date: 22 July 2017

A patient may have made an advance directive before the moment of decision about life-prolonging treatments, and their view is paramount. However, many patients have not made such a directive, and in this circumstance the responsibility for such decisions remains with the doctor.

Most people agree that prolongation of life itself is not necessarily a benefit: it is only valuable if that life is of adequate quality. Continuing aggressive treatment of a patient who is severely ill may not be kind or sensible....

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