Issues surrounding end-of-life decision-making
Vickram Tejwani,1,* YiFan Wu,1,* Sabrina Serrano,2 Luis Segura,2 Michael Bannon,3 Qi Qian1
1Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, 2Mayo Graduate School, 3Department of Trauma, Critical Care, and General Surgery, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA
*These authors contributed equally to this work
Abstract: End-of-life decision-making is a complex process that can be extremely challenging. We describe a 42-year-old woman in an irreversible coma without an advance directive. The case serves to illustrate the complications that can occur in end-of-life decision-making and challenges in resolving difficult futility disputes. We review the role of advance directives in planning end-of-life care, the responsibility and historical performance of patient surrogates, the genesis of futility disputes, and approaches to resolving disputes.
Keywords: end-of-life care, advance directive, surrogate, futility dispute, conflict resolution
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