I Am Living

When someone faces a life-limiting illness, together with their families and caregivers they need to consider a wide range of ethical and legal issues. Left unattended, this may result in complex treatment decision-making, influence the care provided, and create tensions between people with life-limiting illnesses, their families/caregivers, and perhaps the healthcare system. They may wish to discuss potential ethical issues with those they love and their medical team before issues arise.

In end-of-life, people receiving care, those they love, and health professionals are faced with some key considerations such as:

  • artificial nutrition and hydration;
  • conversations about imminent death;
  • dying assistance requests;
  • palliative sedation;
  • withdrawal of medically-futile treatment; and
  • autopsy requests.

For your information, the general principles which guide your medical team are:

  • beneficence: doing good;
  • justice;
  • non-maleficence: doing no harm; and
  • respect for autonomy: the person’s right to self-determination.