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Law and Ethics in Intensive Care
Author: Christopher Danbury
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The legal and ethical challenges presented by intensive care practice are wide ranging. They are intensified by advances in medical technology, developments in the law such as the Mental Capacity Act and an increasing requirement for ethical reflection on, and justification for, professional actions.
Written by a number of experts in law, ethics and intensive care, this book begins with a comprehensive introduction to the subject of healthcare ethics and law, and addresses important ethical and legal considerations such as rights, autonomy and the concept of ‘best interests’ throughout. Divided into three parts, the book looks at issues of competence and autonomy, issues between doctor and patient, and management-focused concerns.
Readers wishing to explore how the law and ethics affect clinical practice will be most interested in the second part on issues between doctor and patient. This considers difficult matters such as the refusal of treatment and do-not-resuscitate orders. It also offers a brief but useful overview of an ongoing and contentious ethico-legal debate: the diagnosis of death.
Although aimed primarily at a medical readership, this book could well be of interest and benefit to a far wider professional audience.
Reviewer: Chris Chaloner
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