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Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society 2007;42(2): 135-140.
Deciding not to Operate in Head Injuries and Legal Considerations.
Il Choi, Kyeong Seok Lee, Jai Joon Shim, Weon Rim Choi
Department of Neurosurgery, Soonchunhyang University, Chonan Hospital, Cheonan, Korea. ksleens@hotmail.com
ABSTRACT
It is not the best way to treat a hopeless patient with life-sustaining medical devices until the heart beats stop. Advanced medical technology may prolong the life for a significant period without recovery from the disease. However, it would give an unbearable economic burden to the family and the society. In 2006, we decided not to operate 9 patients with traumatic intracranial hematomas. We examined those patients with special references to possible legal and ethical problems. It is reasonable to withhold a treatment after documentation that the family never wants any life sustaining treatment when the treatment does not guarantee the meaningful life.
Key Words: Withholding treatment; Decision making; Resuscitation orders; Legislation and jurisprudence; Medical futility; Craniocerebral trauma
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