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The aim of this book is to provide readers with an understanding of the many complex ethical and legal dilemmas health care staff regularly encounter when working in an intensive care unit. The intensive care unit is different in many respects from the normal general medical ward. Patients are by definition more seriously ill, usually unconscious, and...
The aim of this book is to provide readers with an understanding of the many complex ethical and legal dilemmas health care staff regularly encounter when working in an intensive care unit. The intensive care unit is different in many respects from the normal general medical ward. Patients are by definition more seriously ill, usually unconscious, and their lives are maintained by means of complex technology. In many cases the staff concerned are uncertain about the ethical issues raised and very frequently have no idea of the current standing on the law. There are a great number of health care staff who regularly are involved in the management of patients in an intensive care unit. In view of the fact that medical practice is becoming much more of a team approach, all members of the team, such as medical staff, nursing staff, and physiotherapists need an understanding of the various issues raised, as they are much more closely involved in decision making. This book will provide an understanding of the many ethical issues raised in an intensive care unit. The reader will, however, be allowed to make up his or her own mind about what is ethically correct in various situations, such as withdrawing treatments from patients in persistent vegetative state, or electively ventilating patients solely for later use of their organs.
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