CureZone.com
   Home > Article Index > Adrenal Disorders > Ailments, Disorders and Illness

• Go Back

Reprinted from:
/archive/2002/04/30/eline/links/20020430elin026.html

British group says patients can refuse treatment

www.reutershealth.com

British group says patients can refuse treatment

By Richard Woodman

LONDON, Apr 30 (Reuters Health www.reutershealth.com) - Patients have the right to refuse medical treatment even if this results in their death, according to draft new guidance issued by the body that regulates doctors working in Britain.

The General Medical Council (GMC) said it believed complex ethical issues should be clarified in the light of the high profile case of "Miss B", who fulfilled her wish to die in her sleep after winning the right to have her life support machine switched off. Miss B, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had been the first person in Britain in full control of their mental faculties to have asked successfully for doctors to switch off her life support system.

"In this modern day and age, the idea that doctor knows best is something of the past," said David Hatch, head of the GMC group working on the guidelines, which are likely to be adopted by the GMC on May 21.

"I think that the overriding principle, which was confirmed in the 'Miss B' case, is that one must respect the wishes of the patient and make sure they are fully informed about all the options and free to make their own decisions," Hatch told BBC radio.

On Monday at the European Court of Human Rights, terminally ill motor neurone sufferer Diane Pretty lost the final round of her legal fight to die with her husband's help.

At an emotional news conference in London on Monday, Pretty, who speaks with the help of an electronic device, said: "The law has taken all my rights away."

Hatch said that the GMC, which has been drawing up the guidelines for 18 months, worked from the position that mercy killing or euthanasia is contrary not only to the law in Britain but to the ethics of medicine. "But prolonging life unnecessarily, especially if it is producing distress and discomfort, is not good medicine," he added.

The GMC guidance states that while doctors must show respect for human life they should not strive to prolong the dying process without regards for the patient's wishes.

"Adult competent patients have the right to decide how much weight to attach to the benefits, burdens, risks and the overall acceptability of any treatment. They have the right to refuse treatment even where refusal may result in harm to themselves or in their own death, and doctors are legally bound to respect their decision."

If a patient lacks the capacity to decide, the guidance says that the healthcare team and those close to the patient should try to agree what is in the patient's best interests. If they cannot agree, legal advice should be sought on whether to seek a court ruling.

"Although it may be emotionally more difficult for the healthcare team, and those close to the patient, to withdraw a treatment from a patient rather than to decide not to provide a treatment in the first place, this should not be used as a reason for failing to initiate a treatment which may be of some benefit to the patient," the guidance adds.

"Where it has been decided that a treatment is not in the best interests of the patient, there is no ethical or legal obligation to provide it and therefore no need to make a distinction between not starting the treatment and withdrawing it."

The guidance says that doctors who have a conscientious objection to a decision to withhold or withdraw life-prolonging treatment may withdraw from the care of that patient.

The report admits that decisions involving artificial nutrition and hydration may be difficult and contentious.

"For some patients not taking nutrition or hydration may be part of the natural dying process. (But) problems in making assessments can arise because some patients may under-report their symptoms, while perceptions may differ between doctors, members of the healthcare team and those close to a patient, about the presence or severity of symptoms such as pain.

"In view of these considerations, it is essential that doctors ensure that those involved in the decision making are provided with clear and up-to-date information, about what is known of the benefits, burdens and risks of providing nutrition and hydration through artificial means, and information about the basis on which the particular patient's needs have been assessed."

The guidance adds that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has a low success rate, especially for patients with serious conditions who are in poor general health. "If used inappropriately, it may do more harm than good by prolonging the dying process and the pain or suffering of a seriously ill patient, in a manner which could be seen as degrading and undignified.

"For example, if a patient is at the end-stage of an incurable illness and death is imminent, attempts to resuscitate them are likely to be futile and not in the patient's best interests."

The guidance says doctors must respect patients' decisions to refuse CPR. However, if patients say they want CPR, doctors should usually comply with their wishes, even though they are under no obligation to provide treatments they consider futile.

Copyright © 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

Reprinted from:
/archive/2002/04/30/eline/links/20020430elin026.html

Related
News
SARS ANTHRAX WEST NILE SMALLPOX FLU AIDS THE COMMON COLD  May 04 2003
The Most Interesting Stories from CureZone  Apr 18 2003
Liver Flush - Quackery or Valuable Remedy  Apr 18 2003
Astrology and Health  Jan 24 2003
The Remarkable Raspberry  Dec 08 2002
What is Maggot Therapy?  Nov 22 2002
Bacteria Promote Vessel Growth in Gut  Nov 06 2002
Schools Teach 3 C's: Candy, Cookies and Chips  Sep 25 2002
The Grisanti Report  Aug 30 2002
What Every Hypothyroid Patient Should Know about Synthroid  Aug 30 2002
HOW TO LOWER YOUR CHOLESTEROL  Aug 30 2002
MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY & SUDDEN DEATH  Aug 30 2002
Autism 'Linked to Mercury Vaccine'  Aug 16 2002
Autism and Mercury  Aug 16 2002
Vitamin E for Your Brain  Aug 09 2002
The cruelty of sucking gallbladder juice (bile) from live bears in China  Jul 23 2002
Bear's Bile - Big Business that may save bears  Jul 23 2002
Tibetan Herbal Medicine, Interview with Dr. Sonam Wangdu Changbhar  Jul 23 2002
Agreement reached to phase out bear farming in China  Jul 23 2002
China's bile bears finding sanctuary  Jul 23 2002
Hospitalization Can Traumatize a Child  Jun 15 2002
THE FRIGHTENING ROAD AHEAD FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUGS  Jun 14 2002
Medical Journal Changes Policy of Finding Independent Doctors to Write  Jun 14 2002
My Personal Experience, Healing Multiple Sclerosis  Jun 10 2002
The Danger of MSG and How it is Hidden in Vaccines  Jun 08 2002
My husband's full recovery from lung tumor and massive heart attack without drugs/chemo/surgery  Jun 07 2002
How I achieved optimum health after a lifetime of suffering  Jun 07 2002
A doctor diagnosed me as having AIDS  Jun 07 2002
New Drugs Same As The Old Drugs?  May 30 2002
Taming the Beast; My Progress - Multiple Sclerosis  May 30 2002
Beating Multiple Sclerosis  May 29 2002
Hospital Drug-Error Trends Continue  May 29 2002
This is what you will bring into your life  May 29 2002
12 Plants that have no purpose  May 26 2002
Pesticides and the Immune System: The Public Health Risks  May 23 2002
Experiments Strengthen Link Between Fish Oil, Mental Problems  May 21 2002
Raw Eating - A book by A.T. Hovannessian (Aterhov)  May 21 2002
POISON FOR PROFIT - WHAT A BUSINESS PLAN!  May 16 2002
The Truth is Out There   May 16 2002
Why Do Pharmaceutical Drugs Injure and Kill?  May 15 2002
Are Vaccines Causing More Disease Than They are Curing?  May 15 2002
Fluoride and Aluminum - toxic combination of fluoroaluminum complex   May 15 2002
The Nocebo Effect: Placebo's Evil Twin  May 15 2002
A Chronology of Fluoridation  May 08 2002
Avoiding Wheat and Gluten May Reverse Liver Failure and Hepatitis  May 08 2002
Fish Oil Helps Prevent Diabetes  May 08 2002
HYPERTHERMIA - The "COLD SHEET" Treatment   May 05 2002
Ailments & Herbal remedies - Dr. Richard Schulze  May 04 2002
Incurables Program - Dr. Richard Schulze  May 04 2002
Herbal Formulas - Dr. Richard Schulze  May 04 2002
Patient Handbook - Dr. Richard Schulze  May 04 2002
HEALTHY WEB LINKS  May 03 2002
Excitotoxins - MSG and Aspartame  May 03 2002
Crib Death - Infection May Cause SIDS  May 02 2002
Exercise Can Lower Risk of Death from Stroke  May 01 2002
Safety of New Drugs Cannot Be Known for Many Years  May 01 2002
Mercury fillings are affecting dentists  May 01 2002
British group says patients can refuse treatment  Apr 30 2002
Minnesota - the first US State to offer Freedom of Choice  Apr 30 2002
The Signs of Inner Peace  Apr 30 2002
WHO announces urgent meeting on new food cancer scare  Apr 29 2002
Few Antispasmodic & Antiinflammatory Herbs  Apr 26 2002
A Simple Guide To Herbs  Apr 26 2002
Diet, Aging, and Muscle by Joe Friel  Apr 26 2002
Akrylamid-listen  Apr 26 2002
Kreftalarm etter giftfunn i mat  Apr 26 2002
Cooked tomatoes 'better for you than raw'  Apr 26 2002
Cancer expert exposes sunbed 'danger'  Apr 26 2002
Angry Young Men At Greater Risk Of Heart Disease  Apr 26 2002
'Programmed Obesity' Handed Down To Next Generation  Apr 26 2002
Understanding the Healing Crisis  Apr 25 2002
Cancer Risk Found in French Fries, Bread   Apr 24 2002
First 20 Years in Life Key to Cancer Risk  Apr 24 2002
Make-Up Holds Hidden Danger of Cancer  Apr 24 2002
Virgin Olive Oil May Reduce Cholesterol Damage  Apr 24 2002
Fish Oil Cuts Risk of Sudden Death  Apr 24 2002

Back To Top


 

Donate to CureZone

Contact Us - About - Sponsors - Stats

Link Exchange - Add URL - How To Exchange Links?

Terms of Service - Privacy Policy - Spam Policy - Disclaimer - Guidelines & Rules

CureZone Newsletter is distributed in partnership with https:www.netatlantic.com


Copyright 2021  www.curezone.com

0.2813 sec from 3.236.23.193