Friday, February 15, 2013
Life Sustaining Treatment Withdrawn too Soon?
Research presented a few days ago at the International Stroke Conference suggests that life-sustaining treatment may be withdrawn from patients with intracerebral hemorrhage who may have had an "acceptable clinical outcome" had their treatment been sustained.
At hospital discharge, 4% of the patients who were to have life-sustaining measures withdrawn had an "acceptable clinical outcome" (a modified Rankin Scale score of 4 or better). The study suggests that "self-fulfilling prognostic pessimism" could play a role in decisions surrounding life support.
Thaddeus Mason Pope is Director of the Health Law Institute and Professor of Law and at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota. <> <> He is also an Adjunct Professor with the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at Queensland University of Technology; Adjunct Associate Professor with the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College; and Visiting Professor of Medical Jurisprudence at St. Georges University. <> <> Professor Pope is an internationally recognized expert in bioethics and medical ethics. He has over 120 publications in: leading medical journals, law reviews, bar journals, nursing journals, bioethics journals, and book chapters. He also coauthors the definitive 1500-page treatise The Right to Die: The Law of End-of-Life Decisionmaking.