An Ethical Debate: The lay viewBMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6981.715 (Published 18 March 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:715
- Julia Neuberger
If elective ventilation of patients dying of rapidly progressive intracranial haemorrhage takes place, it begs several questions. The authors argue strongly that the practice is ethical. Yet that seems unlikely unless the person concerned has given express permission for this ventilation to take place and is a registered organ donor. To argue that the relatives can give consent (which legally they cannot) and see some good coming out of a tragedy is simply inadequate.
For even if the relatives believe that benefit can emerge from a tragedy and that, as a result of their consent, someone else can have a life, that does not necessarily make it ethical. It merely …