July 16, 2011
End-of-Life Decisions and Competency
The doctors who were treating Uncle Ed had recommended a round of radiation therapy, aimed of course at his ribs. They recommended this despite Ed’s prognosis. If he’d said no — all on his own — it is questionable whether his decision would have stood. That’s because one could, at that point, question whether Uncle Ed was in fact capable of making such a decision. After all, he was both delusional and hallucinating. There seemed little doubt that it was the massive doses of morphine that Ed was receiving that contributed to his mental status. Still, would he have been able to make a clear-headed decision and would any decision he made about further treatment have been respected by the doctors who were pressing for further treatment?
Read the full article at HuffingtonPost
Thanks to Death With Dignity National Center Blog for altering us to this article.