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Deficiencies and missed opportunities to formulate clinical guidelines in Australia for withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in severely disabled and impaired infants

Bhatia, Neera and Tibballs, James 2015, Deficiencies and missed opportunities to formulate clinical guidelines in Australia for withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in severely disabled and impaired infants, Journal of bioethical inquiry, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 449-459, doi: 10.1007/s11673-014-9572-x.

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Title Deficiencies and missed opportunities to formulate clinical guidelines in Australia for withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in severely disabled and impaired infants
Author(s) Bhatia, NeeraORCID iD for Bhatia, Neera orcid.org/0000-0002-1915-0856
Tibballs, James
Journal name Journal of bioethical inquiry
Volume number 12
Issue number 3
Start page 449
End page 459
Total pages 11
Publisher Springer
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1872-4353
1176-7529
Keyword(s) treatment
end of life care
infants
medical ethics
Summary This paper examines the few, but important legal and coronial cases concerning withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining treatment from severely disabled or critically impaired infants in Australia. Although sparse in number, the judgements should influence common clinical practices based on assessment of “best interests” but these have not yet been adopted. In particular, although courts have discounted assessment of “quality of life” as a legitimate component of determination of “best interests,” this remains a prominent component of clinical guidelines. In addition, this paper highlights the lack of uniform clinical guidelines available to medical professionals and parents in Australia when making end-of-life decisions for severely ill infants. Thus, it is argued here that there is a need for an overarching prescriptive uniform framework or set of guidelines in end-of-life decision-making for impaired infants. This would encourage greater transparency, consistency, and some degree of objectivity in an area that often appears subjective.
Language eng
DOI 10.1007/s11673-014-9572-x
Field of Research 180199 Law not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 949999 Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, Journal of Bioethical Inquiry
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30065658

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
Law
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Created: Mon, 15 Sep 2014, 12:04:49 EST by Gloria Stevenson

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