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Commentary: Surrogate Decisionmaking and Communication

  • Debjani Mukherjee

Extract

Mr. Hope’s family’s expectations and his staff’s concerns raise important issues about surrogate decisionmaking, communication regarding prognosis, and staff angst. Unfortunately, Mr. Hope himself is unable to reliably understand and communicate his preferences, especially for complex medical decisions, so the ethics consultant is left to negotiate the disagreement between his family and his healthcare providers, who presumably both believe they are acting in his best interest.

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Notes

1. Torke, AM, Alexander, GC, Lantos, J. Substituted judgment: The limitations of autonomy in surrogate decision making. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2008;23(9):1514–17.

2. See note 1, Torke et al. 2008, at 1514.

3. See note 1, Torke et al. 2008, at 1515.

4. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. NINDS Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy Information Page ; available at http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/pml/pml.htm (last accessed 30 Nov 2015).

5. See note 1, Torke et al. 2008, at 1516.

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