Decisions to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment are contentious, and offer difficult moral dilemmas to both medical practitioners and the judiciary. This issue is exacerbated when the patient is unable to exercise autonomy and is entirely dependent on the will of others.
This book focuses on the legal and ethical complexities surrounding end of life decisions for critically impaired and extremely premature infants. Neera Bhatia explores decisions to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment from critically impaired infants and addresses the controversial question, which lives are too expensive to treat? Bringing to bear such key issues as clinical guidance, public awareness, and resource allocation, the book provides a rational approach to end of life decision making, where decisions to withdraw or withhold treatment may trump other competing interests.
The book will be of great interest and use to scholars and students of bioethics, medical law, and medical practitioners.
1. Introduction 2. The effectiveness of the best interests principle 3. Non-uniformity in clinical guidelines 4. The role, impact and importance of key care givers and decision makers 5. Theories of distributive justice: Healthcare and extremely premature and critically impaired infants 6. Resource allocation: An objective approach in end of life decision making for extremely premature and critically impaired infants 7. Other observations and concluding remarks
Scientific and clinical advances, social and political developments and the impact of healthcare on our lives raise profound ethical and legal questions. Medical law and ethics have become central to our understanding of these problems, and are important tools for the analysis and resolution of problems – real or imagined.
In this series, scholars at the forefront of biomedical law and ethics will contribute to the debates in this area, with accessible, thought-provoking, and sometimes controversial ideas. Each book in the series will develop an independent hypothesis and argue cogently for a particular position. One of the major contributions of this series is the extent to which both law and ethics are utilised in the content of the books, and the shape of the series itself.