Risks, Benefits, and Patients’ Treatment Decisions at the End of Life

  • Henry S. Perkins


Medicine’s traditional doctor-oriented paternalism has declined rapidly in most Western countries. The rising level of the general public’s education and the simultaneous assertion of personal rights have prompted patients to demand more involvement than ever before in decisions about their care. Many patients want both information and decision-making authority. Numerous studies document this new attitude: Many patients say they want some control, partial or full, over treatment decisions, and only a few patients say they want to maintain sole doctor control. Patient autonomy has, therefore, become medicine’s dominant decision-making ethic, making patient assessments of treatments critically important in end-of-life care.


Informed consent End-of-life care SPINES model Domain of terminal care Death with dignity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ecumenical Center for Religion and HealthThe University of Texas Health Science CenterSan AntonioUSA

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