Advance directives are compatible with good medical practice

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.312.7045.1538c (Published 15 June 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:1538
  1. Simon Finfer
  1. Specialist in intensive care Royal North Shore Hospital, Intensive Therapy Unit, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia

    EDITOR,—Bromley division of the BMA believes that advance directives are incompatible with good medical practice and ethics.1 I disagree strongly with this view.

    Good medical practice requires doctors to advise patients of treatment options (including no treatment at all) and the likely outcomes. Patients may then choose the treatment most acceptable to them. This may be not the treatment that produces the best medical outcome but the one that produces the outcome that the patient favours. When patients are mentally incompetent an …

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