The ethical basis for making decisions
Decisions about care at the end of life are very difficult. It is often distressing looking after terminally ill patients and their families. This makes decisions about withholding or withdrawing life-prolonging treatment even more emotive. This chapter briefly outlines the basis of such ethical principles, including ideas on exploring what the patient understands about future treatment and how to present treatment options. It also considers some of the major ethical dilemmas within the context of hospital palliative care, including euthanasia and living wills. Palliative care teams are often called on to support the staff. Team members need to have a clear understanding of the ethical basis for making decisions.
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