I like this quote from the Minnesota Supreme Court: “We sympathize with conscientious and dedicated physicians and health care professionals confronted almost daily with legal uncertainty in what, for them, is accepted medical practice.”
When the court said this in 1989, Minnesota had not yet adopted a statute confirming that death can be determined by not only cardiopulmonary but also by neurological criteria. But the same sentiment could be applied to all sorts of clinical situations.
Much of my own scholarship is animated by the same desire expressed by the Minnesota Supreme Court. I want to provide more clarity, so that clinicians are not “chilled” from doing what they judge (or even know with certainty) is the medically and ethically appropriate course of action.
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.