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Forgoing Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment 

Forgoing Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment
Forgoing Life-Sustaining Medical Treatment

Robert C. Macauley

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date: 19 September 2020

Forgoing life sustaining medical treatment takes on additional complexities depending on the mode of therapy forgone, which often varies in clinical practice. Compassionate extubation of the paralyzed or alert patient requires more in-depth ethical analysis. Some cardiologists are reluctant to deactivate pacemakers, requiring thoughtful comparison of these devices with implantable defibrillators, which do not prompt such debate. Dialysis is a burdensome intervention that may not prolong life and when instituted should be considered a time-limited trial. Enteral and parenteral nutrition create distinct issues in terms of emotional connotation, burden, and benefit.

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