Patient-centred dying
The role of law
in Ethical and legal debates in Irish healthcare
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This chapter examines the legal context within which decisions about the end of life are made. It argues that an ethical approach to end-of-life care must be centred on the dying person and that finding ways to ensure that this person’s voice is heard must be core to the development of legal frameworks. In this respect, the law has, to date, been inadequate. It explores the ways decisions about the end of life are made in Ireland and identifies likely changes, including an increased formalisation of dying. Drawing on experiences from the United States and the United Kingdom, it develops arguments regarding the most appropriate decision-making structures within which to consider difficult questions around end-of-life care.


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