“Take me Home and Allow me to Die Peacefully.”- An Ethical Dilemma of Grave Concern Dhastagir Sultan Sheriff 1 1 - Al Arab Medical University, Benghazi, Libya
Libyan J Med 2010; 5 0-0 aaICID: 896592
IC™ Value: 1.50
Abstract provided by Publisher
Brain death that refers to the irreversible end of all brain activity, including involuntary activity necessary to sustain life, due to total necrosis of the cerebral neurons following loss of blood flow and oxygenation [1,2]. Using brain-death criteria, the medical community can declare a person legally dead even if life support equipment keeps the body's metabolic processes working. However, putting an end to someone’s life creates many ethical dilemmas. Many patients perceive death as a natural part of life, or relief from pain and they may express a wish to die quickly and painlessly. They often ask the treating physician and their family to be taken home and allowed to die peacefully. However, the next of kin may want the patient to be actively treated and kept alive. The physician hopes that the patient will survive and resorts to technical means to keep the patient alive. Who should decide; the patient, the family or the physician?