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Chapter 13 - Ethics

from Section I: - Specific features of critical care medicine

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 July 2010

Edited by
Edited in association with
Fang Gao Smith
Affiliation:
University of Warwick
Joyce Yeung
Affiliation:
West Midlands Deanery
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Summary

Ordinarily, when discussing treatment options with a patient, doctors manage to fulfill an ethical obligation by ensuring that the patient's treatment choices are accommodated as far as possible. The four key ethical principles are: beneficence, non-maleficence, respect for autonomy, and justice. One of the cornerstones of good medical practice is that before providing treatment or involving a patient in teaching, or research, doctors must be satisfied that they have a valid authority. Usually this requires the patient to consent to the proposed treatment. In critical care the hardest decisions are those concerning when to withhold or withdraw treatment. Despite this the majority of patients who die in critical care departments do so after a decision to withhold or withdraw life-prolonging care. When considering end-of-life issues, good communication with patients and their relatives is essential for establishing priorities and ensuring that the wishes of the patient are paramount.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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  • Ethics
  • Edited by Fang Gao Smith, University of Warwick
  • Edited in association with Joyce Yeung
  • Book: Core Topics in Critical Care Medicine
  • Online publication: 06 July 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511712289.015
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  • Ethics
  • Edited by Fang Gao Smith, University of Warwick
  • Edited in association with Joyce Yeung
  • Book: Core Topics in Critical Care Medicine
  • Online publication: 06 July 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511712289.015
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Ethics
  • Edited by Fang Gao Smith, University of Warwick
  • Edited in association with Joyce Yeung
  • Book: Core Topics in Critical Care Medicine
  • Online publication: 06 July 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511712289.015
Available formats
×