Palliative Care and End-of-life Decisions

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-10-22
  • Publisher: Palgrave Pivot
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George P. Smith's Palliative Care and End-of-Life Decisions completes a Bioethics-Health Care epistemology begun in 1989, which addresses the specific issue of managing palliative care at the end-stage of life. Smith argues forcefully that in order to palliate the whole person (encompassing physical and psychological states), an ethic of adjusted care requires recognition of a fundamental right to avoid cruel and unusual suffering from terminal illness. Specifically, this book urges wider consideration and use of terminal sedation as efficacious medical care and as a reasonable procedure in order to safeguard a 'right' to a dignified death. The principle of medical futility is seen as a proper construct for implementing this process.

The state legislative responses of California, Vermont, and Washington in enacting Death with Dignity legislation - allowing those with end-stage terminal illness to receive pharmacological assistance in ending their own lives - is held by Smith to be not only commendable, but the proper response for enlightened state action.

Author Biography

George P. Smith, II has been a scholar, teacher, and international lecturer in the fields of Bioethics and Health Law for over forty years, and has held research affiliations at nearly one hundred institutions, including The Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the Max Planck Institute, Heidelberg, Germany. His bibliography is comprised of nearly two hundred entries with fifteen previous books, amongst them Law and Bioethics: Intersections Along the Mortal Coil (2012) and The Christian Religion and Biotechnology: A Search for Principled Decision-making (2005). US Judge Richard A. Posner has acknowledged Prof. Smith as 'one of the world's leading experts on the legal and ethical issues raised by modern medicine.'

Table of Contents

1. Broadening The Boundaries of Palliative Medicine
2. Total Pain Management and Adjusted Care: An Evolving Ideal
3. Medical Futility: The Template for Decision-making
4. Reconstructing The Principle of Double Effect
5. Physician Assistance at Death or Euthanasia?
6. Shaping a Compassionate Response to End-Stage Illness
7. Toward a Good Death: A Socio-Legal, Ethical, and Medical Challenge

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