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Ethical aspects of withdrawing and withholding treatment.

Wainwright, P and Gallagher, A (2007) Ethical aspects of withdrawing and withholding treatment. Nurs Stand, 21 (33). pp. 46-50.

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Decisions about withdrawing and withholding treatment are common in health care. During almost every encounter between health professionals and patients a decision needs to be made about treatment options. In most cases these choices do not pose any difficulty, for example, starting antibiotics when a patient has an infection. However, decisions not to treat, or to stop treating, raise fundamental questions about the nature and purpose of nursing and the ethics of end-of-life care. This article argues that nurses need to be proactive in deciding what is nursing care and what is treatment. An ethical distinction is drawn between acts and omissions. How this distinction relates to withdrawing and withholding treatment will be considered. Further ethical issues discussed relate to judgements about the futility of treatment, patient autonomy and nurses' duty of care to patients at the end of life.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors : Wainwright, P and Gallagher, A
Date : 25 April 2007
DOI : 10.7748/ns2007.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Advance Directives, Decision Making, Enteral Nutrition, Great Britain, Humans, Life Support Care, Medical Futility, Morale, Nurse's Role, Patient Advocacy, Practice Guidelines as Topic, Quality of Life, Terminal Care, Withholding Treatment
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 13:26
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 12:16

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