Substituted Judgment, Best Interests, and the Need for Best Respect

Perhaps the most troubling medical decisionmaking cases facing state courts involve serious health care decisions for persons with severe or profound mental retardation. Existing legal standards such as substituted judgment and best interests limit or skew relevant information. As an alternative, a best respect legal standard would prod decision makers to exhaust additional sources of information before making a surrogate medical decision. Such a legal standard also offers a more complete approach to all surrogate medical decisions
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DOI 10.1017/S0963180100004928
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