Legal Briefing: Stopping Nonbeneficial Life-Sustaining Treatment without Consent


Thaddeus Mason Pope and Kristin Kemmerling


      In the United States, authoritative legal guidance remains sparse on whether or when clinicians may stop life-sustaining treatment without consent. Fortunately, several significant legislative and judicial developments over the past two years offer some clarity. We group these legal developments into the following seven categories:

1.   Lawsuits for Damages

2.   Amendments to the Texas Advance Directives Act

3.   Constitutional Attack on TADA

4.   Legislation Prohibiting Clinicians

5.   Legislation Authorizing Clinicians

6.   Cases from Canada

7.         Cases from the United Kingdom.



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