Journal of Medical Humanities 11 (2):91-98 (1990)

In matters of discontinuation of life-sustaining treatment, traditional role of the family to speak on behalf of the incompetent patient is questionable. We explore the reasons why physicians perceive patient autonomy to be transferrable to family members. Principle of patient autonomy may not suffice when futile treatment is demanded and may serve to erode the ethical integrity of medical profession. An enhanced role for bioethics committees is proposed when physicians propose to discontinue life-sustaining treatment against the wishes of the patient or their families
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DOI 10.1007/BF01650689
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