Council of Europe issues guide to end of life care

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 08 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3167
  1. Rory Watson
  1. 1Brussels

The Strasbourg based Council of Europe has issued a guide on the decision making process regarding medical treatment in end of life situations.1

The 34 page publication did not address euthanasia or assisted suicide, but it summarised the principles that could be applied to decisions on medical treatment when “a severe deterioration in health, due to the evolution of a disease or another cause, threatens the life of a person irreversibly in the near future.”

In such situations the main purpose of any medical treatment is palliative—focusing on the quality of life or, …

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