Bioethics 30 (2):109-118 (2016)

Julian Savulescu
Oxford University
End-of-life decision-making is controversial. There are different views about when it is appropriate to limit life-sustaining treatment, and about what palliative options are permissible. One approach to decisions of this nature sees consensus as crucial. Decisions to limit treatment are made only if all or a majority of caregivers agree. We argue, however, that it is a mistake to require professional consensus in end-of-life decisions. In the first part of the article we explore practical, ethical, and legal factors that support agreement. We analyse subjective and objective accounts of moral reasoning: accord is neither necessary nor sufficient for decisions. We propose an alternative norm for decisions – that of ‘professional dissensus’. In the final part of the article we address the role of agreement in end-of-life policy. Such guidelines can ethically be based on dissensus rather than consensus. Disagreement is not always a bad thing
Keywords intensive care  consensus  neuroethics  withdrawing treatment  medical ethics
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DOI 10.1111/bioe.12162
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References found in this work BETA

Abandoning Informed Consent.Robert M. Veatch - 1995 - Hastings Center Report 25 (2):5-12.
The Authors.[author unknown] - 1973 - Proceedings of the Heraclitean Society 1 (2).

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Citations of this work BETA

Conscientious Non-Objection in Intensive Care.Dominic Wilkinson - 2017 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 26 (1):132-142.
Dialogic Consensus In Clinical Decision-Making.Paul Walker & Terry Lovat - 2016 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 13 (4):571-580.

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