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Ethical issues in palliative care

Zulica Barretto


Physicians should act in their patients’ best interests. They should also respect their patients’ wishes-which may not be in their best interests. For example, a patient may be in the ICU and nearing death with no chance of survival. Yet, he wants to continue active treatment. In such cases, patients’ wishes have to be respected. Caring for patients in a palliative care setting requires physicians to make particularly difficult decisions.

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