End-of-life decisions relating to adults lacking capacity now fall under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 which came into force in 2007. The Act sets down principles by which the social and medical care of persons lacking the mental capacity to make their own decisions should be conducted. A Code of Practice provides guidance on the interpretation of the Act. We examined the wider effects of the Act in Chapter 6 . In this chapter, we will consider the implications of the Act for adults, like Tony Bland, lacking capacity.
But what of patients who retain capacity
Improving end-of-life care in intensive
First I will define what I conceive medicine to be. In general terms, it is to do away
with the sufferings of the sick, to lessen the violence of their diseases, and to refuse
to treat those who are overmastered by their disease, realising that in such cases
medicine is powerless. (Hippocrates, c.400 BCE)
Politicians must address tough questions about limited resources. How many
teachers are you willing to fire in order to have 78-year olds have a procedure
which will be invented 5 years from
This book provides an ambitious overview of how topics related to death and dying are explored in modern Western theatre, covering a time-span of over a hundred years and engaging multiple cultural contexts. In a series of micronarratives beginning in the late nineteenth century, this book considers how and why death and dying are represented at certain historical moments using dramaturgy and aesthetics that challenge audiences’ conceptions, sensibilities and sense-making faculties. Chapters focus on the ambiguous evocation of death in symbolist theatre; fantastical representations of death in plays about the First World War; satires of death denial in absurdist drama; ‘theatres of catastrophe’ after Auschwitz and Hiroshima; and drama about dying in the early twenty-first century. The book includes a mix of well-known and lesser-known plays and performance pieces from an international range of dramatists and theatre-makers. It offers original interpretations through close reading and performance analysis, informed by scholarship from diverse fields, including history, sociology and philosophy.It investigates the opportunities theatre affords to reflect on the end of life in a compelling and socially meaningful fashion. Written in a lively, accessible style, this book will be of interest to scholars of modern Western theatre and those interested in death studies.
The Irish health system is confronted by a range of challenges, both emerging and recurring. In order to address these, it is essential that spaces are created for conversations around complex ethical and legal issues. This collection aims to provide a basis for ongoing engagement with selected issues in contemporary Irish health contexts. It includes contributions from scholars and practitioners across a range of disciplines, most particularly, ethics, law and medicine. The focus of the collection is interdisciplinary and the essays are situated at the intersection between ethics, law and medicine. Important issues addressed include admission to care homes; assisted suicide; adolescent decision-making; allocation of finite resources; conscientious objection; data protection; decision-making at the end of life; mental health; the rights of older people; patient responsibilities; stem cell research; the role of carers; and reproductive rights. From these discussion, the collection draws out the following interlinking themes, addressing difference; context and care; oversight and decision-making; and, regulating research. The essays are theoretically informed and are grounded in the realities of the Irish health system, by drawing on contributors’ contextual knowledge. This book makes an informed and balanced contribution to academic and broader public discourse.
Patient-centred dying: the role of law
Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it.
Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: 24 Stories
The way we die is a fundamental part of our life story. Yet, most of us dedicate
little time to thinking about how we want to die (McCarthy et al., 2010). It
seems inevitable in contemporary Ireland that the law will play an increased
role in decisions about the endoflife. There are several reasons for this.
Ongoing technological development and increased medical knowledge
that was not its primary purpose.
At the other endoflife, the Church, while condemning euthanasia, does not demand that extraordinary means be taken to prolong life. Where is the line drawn? Should a severely disabled baby be subjected to painful surgery with a low success rate? Must antibiotics be administered to the terminal cancer patient stricken with pneumonia? The doctrine of double effect, and the application of a distinction between ordinary and extraordinary means to preserve life have generated substantial literature and debate. 52 Nonetheless
on it, has
not gone away.
This is understandable. Death and dying invariably involve a plethora of thorny issues. With increased secularisation in many industrialised Western societies, religious assurances about the existence of
an afterlife have faded, lending credence to the rationalist credo that
one’s earthly existence is total. And yet, belief in posthumous spiritual
existence persists. Most pressing are concerns about end-of-life: specifically, the form it will take, its duration, and the degree of agency
one will have. It is common for dying people – as
range of art-forms, including theatre. In the fin de
siècle, spiritualism was in vogue, and so the subjects of mortality and
the afterlife were addressed with renewed interest. Spiritualists claimed
to be able to contact the dead, thus proving that death did not mean
the endoflife but simply marked a transformation from a corporeal
to a non-corporeal state of being. Scientists endeavoured to ascertain
if there was any truth to spiritualists’ supposed abilities to contact the
dead. In this way, the meaning of death was contested and put into flux.
naturally marks the endoflife. In late medieval descriptions of the
ages of man, death followed decrepitude, the final stage of old age. At
this point, the circle of life was complete: in the wheel of life
depicted in Robert de Lisle’s manuscript, death is marked by a
tomb, which bears close resemblance to the cradle symbolising the start
of life. In other
Embryo research, cloning, assisted conception, neonatal care, saviour siblings, organ transplants, drug trials – modern developments have transformed the field of medicine almost beyond recognition in recent decades and the law struggles to keep up. In this highly acclaimed and very accessible book Margaret Brazier and Emma Cave provide an incisive survey of the legal situation in areas as diverse as fertility treatment, patient consent, assisted dying, malpractice and medical privacy. The sixth edition of this book has been fully revised and updated to cover the latest cases, from assisted dying to informed consent; legislative reform of the NHS, professional regulation and redress; European regulations on data protection and clinical trials; and legislation and policy reforms on organ donation, assisted conception and mental capacity. Essential reading for healthcare professionals, lecturers, medical and law students, this book is of relevance to all whose perusal of the daily news causes wonder, hope and consternation at the advances and limitations of medicine, patients and the law.