Deciding Against Treatment (IN: Life on the Line: Ethics, Aging, Ending Patients’ Lives, and Allocating Vital Resources, by J F Kilner)
Kilner J F
The issue of who has responcibility for treatment decisions (physicians, family, or patient) is examined. The author argues that available choices will not necessarily be equally moral, and that there is a pressing need to distinguish between better and worse decisions when people’s lives are at stake. He argues that intention is the key issue in euthanasia (both passive and active) – whether anything is done or left undone with the intention of causing the patient’s death. Quality of life and the effects of inappropriate treatment are discussed.