Is providing elective ventilation in the best interests of potential donors?
In this paper, we examine the lawfulness of a proposal to provide elective ventilation to incompetent patients who are potential organ donors. Under the current legal framework, this depends on whether the best interests test could be satisfied. It might be argued that, because the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (UK) (and the common law) makes it clear that the best interests test is not confined to the patient's clinical interests, but extends to include the individual's own values, wishes and beliefs, the proposal will be in the patient's best interests. We reject this claim. We argue that, as things currently stand, the proposal could not lawfully be justified as a blanket proposition by reference to the best interests test. Accordingly, a modification of the law would be necessary to render the proposal lawful. We conclude with a suggestion about how that could be achieved.
Impact and interest:
Citation counts are sourced monthly from and citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Keywords:||Elective ventilation, Non-therapeutic ventilation, organ donation, best interests, conflict of interest, Mental Capacity Act, Patient's values wishes and beliefs, substituted judgement, altruistic wishes, altruism, benefit|
|Subjects:||Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100)
|Divisions:||Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Law
|Copyright Owner:||Copyright 2013 BMJ Publishing Group|
|Deposited On:||18 Feb 2013 00:48|
|Last Modified:||26 Feb 2013 00:27|
Repository Staff Only: item control page