This book offers an in-depth analysis of the wide range of issues surrounding "passive euthanasia" and "allow-to-die" decisions. The author develops a comprehensive conceptual model that is highly useful for assessing and dealing with real-life situations. He presents an informative historical overview, an evaluation of the clinical settings in which treatment abatement takes place, and an insightful discussion of relevant legal aspects. The result is a clearly articulated ethical analysis that is medically realistic, philosophically sound, and legally viable.
Adolescents who are critically, chronically, and terminally ill traditionally have been given little voice in their health care treatment. But over the last three decades attitudes have begun to shift. The legal and medical professions as well as parents and children's advocates have started to recognize that cognitively normal adolescents have decisionmaking capacity and believe these patients ought to have the opportunity to participate in even the toughest of health treatment decisions. Advance directives, if used with sensitivity and care, could (...) prove a valuable means of giving these older pediatric patients a say in their care. (shrink)
The first edition of this book was published in 1977. At that time the field of thanatology, the study of death and dying, was still reasonably new and was dominated by research done by psychiatrists and social scientists. The most notable person in the field at the time was Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, who was widely credited with having brought thanatology into public view with the 1969 publication of her book On Death and Dying. Two research centers on death and dying were (...) gaining national reputations: The Foundation of Thanatology in New York (Austin Kutscher, director), and the Center for Death Education and Research (Robert Fulton, director) at the University of Minnesota. (shrink)
The participation of adolescents in genetic research engenders unusual problems concerning the nature of their informed consent. In this study we analyze 70 consent documents collected from genetics investigators in the United States who conduct research with children and adolescents. We find that many consent documents do not reflect either the current or the developing ethical and legal standards for research with adolescents and that in many cases the documents are simply confusing or unclear. We make recommendations for change to (...) reflect more adequately the changing perspective concerning the autonomous decision-making capacity of adolescents. (shrink)