Title

'Round-table' ethical debate: Is a suicide note an authoritative 'living will'?

DOI

10.1186/cc1010

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

7-10-2001

Publication Title

Critical Care

Volume

5

Issue

3

First Page

115

Last Page

124

ISSN

13648535

Keywords

Advance directives, Autonomy, Critical care, Living wills, Medical ethics, Suicide

Abstract

Living wills are often considered by physicians who are faced with a dying patient. Although popular with the general public, they remain problems of authenticity and authority. It is difficult for the examining physician to know whether the patient understood the terms of the advance directive when they signed it, and whether they still consider it authoritative at the time that it is produced. Also, there is little consensus on what spectrum of instruments constitutes a binding advance directive in real life. Does a 'suicide note' constitute an authentic and authoritative 'living will'? Our panel of authorities considers this problem in a round-table discussion.

Open Access

Gold

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