Palliative care versus euthanasia. The German position: The German general medical council's principles for medical care of the terminally ill
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 25 (2):195 – 219 (2000)
In September 1998 the Bundesrztekammer, i.e., the German Medical Association, published new principles concerning terminal medical care. Even before publication, a draft of these principles was very controversial, and prompted intense public debate in the mass media. Despite some of the critics' suspicions that the principles prepared the way for liberalization of active euthanasia, euthanasia is unequivocally rejected in the principles. Physician-assisted suicide is considered to violate professional medical rules. In leaving aside some of the notions customarily used in the euthanasia debate, e.g., passive euthanasia, the principles emphasize the obligation of physicians to offer and the right of patients to receive palliative care. The principles explicitly list modalities of basic treatment that are indispensable in all cases, such as the obligation to satisfy hunger and thirst. This statement is meant to resolve the dispute on nutrition and hydration at the end of life, as it shifts the focus of care from maintaining physiological parameters to satisfying subjective needs. For patients in a persistent vegetative state, artificial feeding is held to be obligatory. Yet, the principles make reference to recent German jurisdiction which permit the stopping of artificial feeding if it is in accordance with the patient's presumed will. Additionally, the wording concerning this issue is found to remain unclear. Patients' autonomy is strengthened by explicitly welcoming advance directives as a means to ascertain patients' wills. The principles mark some changes compared to earlier documents. They deserve careful analysis and should be considered in the international debate on issues concerning the end of life.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
John Keown (2002). Euthanasia, Ethics, and Public Policy: An Argument Against Legalisation. Cambridge University Press.
R. Gillon (1994). Palliative Care Ethics: Non-Provision of Artificial Nutrition and Hydration to Terminally Ill Sedated Patients. Journal of Medical Ethics 20 (3):131-187.
A. C. Rietjens Judith, J. Der Maas Pauvanl, D. Onwuteaka-Philipsen Bregje, J. M. Delden Johannevans & Agnes van der Heide (2009). Two Decades of Research on Euthanasia From the Netherlands. What Have We Learnt and What Questions Remain? Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 6 (3).
David F. Kelly (2004). Contemporary Catholic Health Care Ethics. Georgetown University Press.
Cees M. P. M. Hertogh, Marike E. de Boer, Rose-Marie Dröes & Jan A. Eefsting (2007). Would We Rather Lose Our Life Than Lose Our Self? Lessons From the Dutch Debate on Euthanasia for Patients with Dementia. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (4):48 – 56.
Ernst Luther (1989). Medical Ethics in the German Democratic Republic. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 14 (3):289-299.
Laura Hawryluck, William Harvey, Louise Lemieux-Charles & Peter Singer (2002). Consensus Guidelines on Analgesia and Sedation in Dying Intensive Care Unit Patients. BMC Medical Ethics 3 (1):1-9.
Y. Tony Yang & Margaret M. Mahon (2012). Palliative Care for the Terminally Ill in America: The Consideration of QALYs, Costs, and Ethical Issues. [REVIEW] Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 15 (4):411-416.
Fiona Randall (1996). Palliative Care Ethics: A Good Companion. Oxford University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads10 ( #235,035 of 1,726,181 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,181 )
How can I increase my downloads?