Bioethics in Brief is a newsletter of the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, committed to promoting clinical health care and health policy which is patient-centered, compassionate, and just. Opinions expressed in the newsletter are those of the authors and do not represent the position of the Center.
Who has the Final Say Regarding a Patient's Fate?
Mrs. Cobb is a 56-year-old with advanced rheumatoid arthritis. Because of her disease, she is in a wheelchair. Three years ago, she appointed her twin sister, Elaine, as her health care proxy. She was admitted to the hospital in severe respiratory distress. Pneumocystis pneumonia is diagnosed and antibiotics are begun. Despite this, her condition worsens, and she is placed on mechanical ventilation after two days...
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