TITLE

Limits of Guardian Treatment Refusal: A Reasonableness Standard

AUTHOR(S)
Veatch, Robert M.
PUB. DATE
January 1984
SOURCE
American Journal of Law & Medicine;Winter84, Vol. 9 Issue 4, p427
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The debate concerning the legal and ethical bases of guardian refusal of medical treatment on behalf of incompetent patients often ignores critical distinctions among types of patients and guardians. For example, patients who have expressed preferences regarding treatment while competent are distinguishable from patients who have always lacked the competency requisite to expressing a treatment preference. "Bonded guardians," whose relationship with the patient preexisted guardianship, should have a different role in the decision-making process than "nonbonded guardians," who were strangers to the patient prior to the guardian-ward relationship. This Article proposes criteria for guardian treatment refusal on behalf of incompetent patients. Under the model for guardian decision making presented here, bonded guardians should be preferred over nonbonded guardians, and bonded guardians should be allowed discretion to make treatment choices, limited only by a standard of reasonableness policed by the courts. The Author presents legal and ethical justifications for the bonded guardian's heightened role. Finally, he considers the proper roles of health professionals, hospital ethics committees, and judges in the decision-making process.
ACCESSION #
6336566

 

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of THE LIBRARY OF VIRGINIA

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics