The Evolution of Surrogates' Right to Terminate Life-Sustaining Treatment

2006 Virtual Mentor  
Depending on one's beliefs and philosophical leanings, removing life-sustaining treatment can be viewed as causing a patient's death or allowing a patient to die. The dramatic and very public debate surrounding the medical decisions made for Terri Schiavo illuminate widespread societal disagreement about the moral consequences of withdrawing support. This divergence stems from the differing attitudes about life and death that inform people's views regarding the kinds of end-of-life decisions
more » ... f-life decisions that deserve legal protection. American courts have long protected patients' right to consent to care, which necessarily implies a reciprocal right to refuse care [1]. The "right to die," however, is a relatively recent concept made contentious by advances in life-sustaining medical technology.
doi:10.1001/virtualmentor.2006.8.9.hlaw1-0609 pmid:23234711 fatcat:n45cwfov2bajfg2dtntlla4c4m