Skip Navigation LinksHome > August 2011 - Volume 17 - Issue 4, Spinal Cord, Root, and Plexus Disorders > Spinal Cord Injury and a Request to Stop Treatment
CONTINUUM: Lifelong Learning in Neurology:
doi: 10.1212/01.CON.0000403801.33483.44
Ethical Perspectives

Spinal Cord Injury and a Request to Stop Treatment

Gordon, James MD, FRCPC, FAAN

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ABSTRACT: When a person who is not terminally ill requests that life-prolonging treatment be stopped, the treating physician must systematically consider all relevant diagnostic, prognostic, and psychosocial elements of that request. First, the patient's decision-making capacity must be confirmed. Next, medical facts, patient preferences, quality of life, and contextual matters surrounding the request must be evaluated and interpreted. Finally, to respect the patient fully, the treating physician must engage all clinical and paraclinical resources needed to ensure that the request is truly informed and autonomous.

© 2011 American Academy of Neurology


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