Questions that face dying individuals, their families, and the professionals that help them at the end of their lives are explored in this volume. The contributors help the reader to come to terms with issues of mortality complicated by the diversity of cultures within society.

Ethical Considerations and Court Involvement in End-of-Life Decision Making

Ethical considerations and court involvement in end-of-life decision making
Marshall B.Kapp

From a humane perspective, the quality of care provided to persons near the ends of their lives in the United States often leaves something to be desired (Institute of Medicine, 1997). The reasons for shortcomings in the care and compassion provided to a significant percentage of dying individuals by the modern health care system are multifold, but clearly, the complexity of relevant ethical issues at the end of life plays a role (Gordon & Singer, 1995). This chapter briefly outlines the most salient of these issues, with particular emphasis on presently identified areas of ethical consensus and dispute. Because anxiety on the part of health care providers ...

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