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Hastings Cent Rep. 1987 Feb;17(1):20-1.

At law. Transferring the ethical hot potato.



Annas applauds the reversal on appeal of three court decisions in which trial court judges sided with hospitals that refused to accede to the wishes of nonterminally ill patients to reject life-sustaining treatment. The appellate decisions he discusses are Bartling v. Superior Court (163 Cal.App.3d 186 [1984], Bouvia v. Superior Court (179 Cal.App.3d 1127 [1986]), and Brophy v. New England Sinai Hospital (497 N.E.2d 626 [Mass., 1986]). He also praises the "enlightened approach" taken recently by a New Jersey trial court judge (In re Requena, Morris Co., P-326-86E, 24 Sep 1986) in turning down a hospital's request for a court order to transfer a patient who refused tube feeding. "If hospitals are to become the humane institutions they often claim to be," argues Annas, "they must remain flexible enough to honor the competent wishes of their patients without forcing them to return home or engaging in 'ethical dumping' by transferring them to other institutions."

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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