0
ARTICLE |

The Legal Status of Consent Obtained From Families of Adult Patients to Withhold or Withdraw Treatment

Judith Areen, JD
JAMA. 1987;258(2):229-235. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03400020071034.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

MANY physicians routinely turn to family members to make treatment decisions for patients who are incapable of making decisions for themselves.1 If the patient is a child, the law generally supports reliance on parents as substitute decision makers, although even parental decisions may be overridden in the courts to provide life-saving treatment when it is in the best interests of a child to do so.2,3 If the patient is an adult, by contrast, there is no basis in common law for relying on a family member as a proxy decision maker unless he has been appointed the patient's legal guardian.4-8 A few courts have honored treatment decisions made by parents of mentally retarded adult patients, but these decisions reinforce the general rule by viewing this step as merely an extension of the general authority of parents to consent for minor children.9-11

There are several reasons for

Topics

Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

Figures

Tables

References

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();