ETHICAL PROBLEMS: Impossible task

May 2005 
Volume 35  Number 5
Pages 68 - 68
  PDF Version Available!

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 35(5)             May 2005             p 68 Impossible task [ETHICAL PROBLEMS: QUALITY OF LIFE]


Our ICU nurse-manager appointed a committee of RNs and LPNs to draft objective standards for determining a terminally ill patient's quality of life. We've been meeting for almost 6 months and still can't agree what criteria should define quality of life and how to apply these criteria to individual patients. Please help! —J.M., GA.

Before you try to define quality of life, perhaps you should ask two fundamental questions first: Who has the right to determine quality of life, and why do criteria for quality of life need to be established in the first place?

Many experts in health care object to putting a measurable value on something as subjective and personal as quality of life. If you ...

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