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Medical Jurisprudence

End-of-life

2009

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Multi-Institutional Healthcare Ethics Committees: The Procedurally Fair Internal Dispute Resolution Mechanism, Thaddeus Mason Pope Jan 2009

Multi-Institutional Healthcare Ethics Committees: The Procedurally Fair Internal Dispute Resolution Mechanism, Thaddeus Mason Pope

Faculty Scholarship

2.6 million Americans die each year. A majority of these deaths occur in a healthcare institution as the result of a deliberate decision to stop life sustaining medical treatment. Unfortunately, these end-of-life decisions are marked with significant conflict between patients' family members and healthcare providers. Healthcare ethics committees (HECs) have been the dispute resolution forum for many of these conflicts.

HECs generally have been considered to play a mere advisory, facilitative role. But, in fact, HECs often serve a decision making role. Both in law and practice HECs increasingly have been given significant authority and responsibility to make treatment decisions. …