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Year 3 - Ethics and Law > End of Life > Flashcards

Flashcards in End of Life Deck (25)
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Where do the majority of people die?

Within hospital


Overall ethics in death

Who decides:
- Admission to ITU
- Screening for genetic disease

- Treatment withdrawal
- Sedation

- Resuscitate?
- Euthanasia?

- Hospital versus home?
- Hospice?


Achieving a good death was dominated by what in the past?



Achieving a good death is dominated by what in western world?

Medicine currently - The idea of someone having autonomy over their death is considered a good death


Things that could influence the idea of a good death?

- Religion
- Culture/tradition
- Doctors
- Patients
- Relatives and friends


In the modern world what could lead to a bad death?

The concept of loss of autonomy, whereby someone has lost the ability to make or communicate their decisions e.g. stroke or dementia


What is a big change in modern causes of death and why does this pose a challenge?

In the past most deaths where acute, from infectious disease most commonly.

In modern day more people are dying of cancer, heart disease, dementia etc with the progression often slow lasting months or even years. This poses real challenge in how someone can die well when suffering from a degenerative disease.


How may someone keep their autonomy in death?

- Palliative care
- Voluntary withdrawal of drug treatment
- Voluntary euthanasia (Not currently legal in the UK)


What can improve quality of life in death?

- Caring attitude of staff
- Family visits
- Physical environment
- Autonomy
- Feeling safe
- Not feeling isolated
- Hobbies i.e. art
- Smoking, bad food etc


What can diminish quality of life in death?

- Loss of independence
- Loss of autonomy
- Pain
- Fear
- Feeling like a burden
- Loss of ability to participate in hobbies
- Removal of things one may enjoy e.g. smoking, foods


If unsure if a patient is a DNR what action should one take?

If in any doubt, doctors have a duty of care to save life and preserve function


What is the UK's stance on euthanasia and physician assisted suicide?

It is currently illegal


Can doctors hasten death?

They must not intend to hasten death, but may in certain circumstances administer treatment that will hasten death (Doctrine of Double Effect)


If a patient refuses treatment and it will lead to their death what should you do?

If the patient is autonomous then they have the right to refuse treatment regardless of the end result


If a patient requested a treatment that is not indicated what should you do?

A patient cannot demand a treatment from a doctor, however if denied a treatment they are entitled to a second opinion


What is the issue with rationing of treatments?

Some treatments may be indicated but are not affordable


What is a family members role in medical decision making?

They have no role unless:
- They have been legally appointed proxy decision maker
- The patient lacks capacity


What determines incapable?

Inability to:
1) Acting, or
2) Making decisions, or
3) Communicating decisions, or
4) Understanding decisions, or
5) Retaining the memory of decision


What must be taken into account when someone loses capacity?

1) Their past and present wishes
2) The views of relevant others


In terms of intervention in someone incapable what is of most importance?

That the intervention benefits them


The duties of a doctor registered with the General Medical Council?

Patients must be able to trust doctors with their lives and health. To justify that trust you must show respect for human life and make sure your practice meets the standards expected of you in four domains


Knowledge, skills and performance in terms of duties of a doctor?

Make the care of your patient your first concern.

Provide a good standard of practice and care:
- Keep your professional knowledge and skills up to date.
- Recognise and work within the limits of your competence. 


Safety and quality in terms of duties of a doctor?

- Take prompt action if you think that patient safety, dignity or comfort is being compromised.

- Protect and promote the health of patients and the public.


Communication, partnership and teamwork in terms of duties of a doctor?

Treat patients as individuals and respect their dignity:
- Treat patients politely and considerately. 
- Respect patients' right to confidentiality.

Work in partnership with patients:
- Listen to, and respond to, their concerns and preferences.
- Give patients the information they want or need in a way they can understand. 
- Respect patients' right to reach decisions with you about their treatment and care. 
- Support patients in caring for themselves to improve and maintain their health.

Work with colleagues in the ways that best serve patients' interests.


Maintaining trust in terms of duties of a doctor?

- Be honest and open and act with integrity.
- Never discriminate unfairly against patients or colleagues.
- Never abuse your patients' trust in you or the public's trust in the profession.

You are personally accountable for your professional practice and must always be prepared to justify your decisions and actions.