Decision making in medicine and health care

  • Bailey S
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Abstract

The best interests principle is commonly utilized in acute care settings to assist with decision making about life-saving and life-sustaining treatment. This ethical principle demands that the decision maker refers to some conception of quality of life that is relevant to the individual patient. The aim of this article is to describe the factors that are required to be incorporated into an account of quality of life that will provide a morally justifiable basis for making a judgement about the future quality of life, and therefore the best interests, of critically ill patients who are mentally incompetent. This account consists of three major components ?/ pain and suffering, body functioning, and autonomy ?/ and is applicable in situations where very limited information is available to guide decision making. This framework helps to make decisions about the provision of life-saving treatment that are as consistent as possible in all patient situations

Author-supplied keywords

  • abstract decision making is
  • and medical practice
  • be-
  • cause health outcomes are
  • central to health policy
  • decision aids
  • medical decision making
  • most decisions are made
  • patient-provider interaction
  • probabilistic
  • quality of life
  • shared decision making
  • under conditions of

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Authors

  • Susan Bailey

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