Doctors Deny Lifesaving Care for Canadian Patient, Say Quality of Life Too Lowby Wesley J. Smith | LifeNews.com | 6/6/13 10:59 AM
Bioethics pushed personal autonomy to the forefront of medical decision making, helping forge the legal right to say no to unwanted life-extending care. Today, if a person doesn’t want to be in an ICU or to be otherwise kept alive with medical treatment, the patient or family can say no. And that’s generally a very good thing. Indeed, without the right to say no, the hospice movement would never have materialized.
But what about patients who want to say yes to such care? Increasingly, patient autonomy is becoming a one-way street. If you want to die, fine. That decision is sacrosanct. If you want to live, well doctors and bioethicists get to make the final decision. This is sometimes called Futile Care Theory or medical futility.
Futile Care Theory is as much about money as it is about benefiting the patient. It is also about honoring the subjective views of doctors and care givers–even at the expense of rejecting a patient’s specific request for efficacious treatment, that is, treatment that would or could achieve the desired medical result of extending the patient’s life.
Now, in Canada (yet again), we see a case in which a patient stated he wanted to be kept alive but the doctors don’t want to comply.
This mindset trickles down to denying quality of life medical treatment to the rest of us when we become seriously injured.