Limits to Life-Sustaining Treatment

2. The family (perhaps INCLUDING the patient)

Dependent people may turn to family members for guidance in deciding what to do - in other decisions as well as in medical choices.

Health professionals may turn to family members if the patient:

  • is difficult to communicate with (e.g., hard of hearing, speaks a different language than the professional).
  • appears not to understand
  • is unconscious
  • is a child.

Which of these situations is appropriate for involving family in the decisions?

What safeguards (if any) should there be for relying on family decision?

Created by Glenn C. Graber - last updated March 8, 2003
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