In prior posts, I identified some legal tools (also here) that families can use in irreconcilable medical futility disputes.
A recent blog post at Scientific American provides some advice on preventing and resolving brain death disputes before they become intractable.
- Consider sharing information about your loved one. You can do this by telling stories about them or bringing in photographs.
- Ask lots of questions. Clinicians strive to give understandable information, but feedback helps us know when our explanations fall short.
- Request a formal family meeting. Meetings allow you to hear from different doctors at simulateously and give you a forum for voicing your questions and concerns with fewer interruptions and distractions.
- If you and your clinicians disagree about how to care for your loved one, ask for an ethics consults. In most hospitals, anyone can ask for an ethics consult, even patients and their families.
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.