Law, Ethics and Compromise at the Limits of Life: To Treat or Not to Treat?

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A conflict arises in the clinic over the care of a critically ill, incapacitated patient. The clinicians and the patient 's family confront a difficult choice: to treat or not to treat? Decisions to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment feature frequently in the courts and in the world's media, with prominent examples including the cases of Charlotte Wyatt, in the UK, and Terri Schiavo, in the USA. According to legislation like the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the central issues are the welfare (or best interests ) of ...