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End of Life ChoicesConsensus and controversy$
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Fiona Randall and Robin Downie

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199547333

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547333.001.0001

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Choice and best interests: life-prolonging treatments

Choice and best interests: life-prolonging treatments

(p.61) 4 Choice and best interests: life-prolonging treatments
End of Life Choices

Fiona Randall

R. S. Downie (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the concept of patient choice and best interest in relation to end of life care and life-prolonging treatments. It stresses the importance for professionals to understand the distinction between killing and letting die, and the lack of a moral distinction between decisions to withhold and those to withdraw life-prolonging treatments. It also explains the underlying ethical principles that may help give professionals confidence in following the proper process in a sensitive and compassionate way in the emotional climate of end of life care.

Keywords:   treatments, best interest, moral distinctions, letting die, compassion

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