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Should patient consent be required to write a do not resuscitate order?
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  • Published on:
    Reply to Paul Biegler

    Dear Editor

    I am grateful to Dr Biegler for his response.[1]

    I do not think that Dr Biegler’s thesis demands any legally "counterintuitive claims". On the contrary, what he suggests seems in many ways to be intuitively right. His law is wrong, not his intuition. The law is sometimes counterintuitive (and downright unethical) in some situations in order to preserve principles which generally give just results....

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Re: Patient consent to DNR orders: some legal observations

    Dear Editor

    I thank Mr Foster for his response.[1]

    If I understand him correctly he advances three claims. Firstly, he suggests that the question of consent might not be a relevant consideration in relation to DNR orders if the treating doctor is able to “wash his (or her) hands” of a duty of care to the patient. Secondly, he suggests that in the case of a competent patient the best interests criterion d...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Patient consent to DNR orders: some legal observations

    Dear Editor

    Dr. Biegler concludes that patient consent to a DNR order should be required [1]. He rightly locates the reason for that ethical demand in the principle of autonomy. If autonomy means anything, it must mean a right to be involved in decisions about one’s own survival. It is also correct to say that the law of consent, at least in common law jurisdictions, is built on the philosophical foundation of au...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.

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