Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2013-101965
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dc.titleBalancing obligations: Should written information about life-sustaining treatment be neutral?
dc.contributor.authorXafis, V
dc.contributor.authorWilkinson, D
dc.contributor.authorGillam, L
dc.contributor.authorSullivan, J
dc.date.accessioned2020-10-26T07:05:48Z
dc.date.available2020-10-26T07:05:48Z
dc.date.issued2015
dc.identifier.citationXafis, V, Wilkinson, D, Gillam, L, Sullivan, J (2015). Balancing obligations: Should written information about life-sustaining treatment be neutral?. Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (3) : 234-239. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2013-101965
dc.identifier.issn0306-6800
dc.identifier.urihttps://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/180126
dc.description.abstractParents who are facing decisions about life-sustaining treatment for their seriously ill or dying child are supported by their child's doctors and nurses. They also frequently seek other information sources to help them deal with the medical and ethical questions that arise. This might include written or web-based information. As part of a project involving the development of such a resource to support parents facing difficult decisions, some ethical questions emerged. Should this information be presented in a strictly neutral fashion? Is it problematic if narratives, arguments or perspectives appear to favour stopping over continuing life-sustaining treatment? Similar questions might arise with written materials about decisions for adults, or for other ethically contentious decisions. This paper explores the meaning of 'balance' in information provision, focusing particularly on written information about life-sustaining treatment for children. We contrast the norm of nondirectiveness in genetic counselling with the shared decision-making model often endorsed in end-of-life care. We review evidence that parents do not find neutrality from medical professionals helpful in discussions. We argue that balance in written information must be understood in the light of the aim of the document, the most common situation in which it will be used, and any existing biases. We conclude with four important strategies for ensuring that non-neutral information is nevertheless ethically appropriate.
dc.publisherBMJ Publishing Group
dc.rightsAttribution 4.0 International
dc.rights.urihttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
dc.sourceUnpaywall 20201031
dc.subjectadult
dc.subjectchild
dc.subjectcounseling
dc.subjectdecision making
dc.subjectethics
dc.subjectGreat Britain
dc.subjecthuman
dc.subjectinformed consent
dc.subjectintensive care
dc.subjectinterpersonal communication
dc.subjectpalliative therapy
dc.subjectparent
dc.subjectpersonal autonomy
dc.subjectpersuasive communication
dc.subjectpublication
dc.subjectstandards
dc.subjectterminal care
dc.subjectterminally ill patient
dc.subjecttreatment withdrawal
dc.subjecttrends
dc.subjectUnited States
dc.subjectAdult
dc.subjectChild
dc.subjectChoice Behavior
dc.subjectCoercion
dc.subjectCounseling
dc.subjectCritical Care
dc.subjectDecision Making
dc.subjectDisclosure
dc.subjectGreat Britain
dc.subjectHumans
dc.subjectInformed Consent
dc.subjectPalliative Care
dc.subjectPamphlets
dc.subjectParents
dc.subjectPersonal Autonomy
dc.subjectTerminal Care
dc.subjectTerminally Ill
dc.subjectUnited States
dc.subjectWithholding Treatment
dc.typeArticle
dc.contributor.departmentDEAN'S OFFICE (MEDICINE)
dc.description.doi10.1136/medethics-2013-101965
dc.description.sourcetitleJournal of Medical Ethics
dc.description.volume41
dc.description.issue3
dc.description.page234-239
dc.published.statePublished
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