Real Time Web Analytics

Friday, July 19, 2013

Definition of 'healthcare' at centre of dispute as health authorities defy Alzheimer's patient's living will

I've been an advocate of each of us leaving clear, written instructions about end-of-life and other medical treatment we want. In particular, I believe that each of us should give our families our written instructions on what to do if a disease or injury has caused us to be in a situation in which we are not going to recover, no matter what is done.

I, and many other lawyers, ask our clients to record their wishes in Advance Health Care Directives, Personal Directives or Health Care Proxies.

Now I see a story in the National Post in which a hospital in BC is refusing to honour a patient's written instructions not to be given food or liquids. They continue to feed the patient, who no longer has the capacity to make decisions, but does open her mouth to consume food given by spoon. Click here to read the story.

The issue in dispute is whether feeding someone is healthcare, or whether it's providing the basic necessities of life.

The case is getting a lot of attention, from the medical and legal professions but also from individuals who want to know what steps to take to ensure their wishes are carried out. I'll be keeping an eye on this case to see how it is resolved.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You might also like

Related Posts with Thumbnails