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The significant of the principle of autonomy is clearly expressed in Re T, cited by Robins JA in Malette v Schulman (1990) 67 DLR (4th) 321 at 336, and said

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Introduction

The significant of the principle of autonomy is clearly expressed in Re T, cited by Robins JA in Malette v Schulman (1990) 67 DLR (4th) 321 at 336, and said The right to determine what shall be done with one's own body is a Fundamental right in our society. The concepts inherent in this right are Bedrock upon which the principles of self-determination and individual Autonomy is based. In regard to the autonomy, the judgement [handed by Dame Elizabeth Buttler-sloss, the president of family division of high] that causes surprises to medical lawyer, that is, the competent patient's right to decide for himself whether to submit to medical treatment, over other imperatives, such as his best interests should be objectively considered. ...read more.

Middle

Doctors have to make consideration to what the patient capacity to decide to decide at the time the decision was made. While the decision of the patient remains paramount. In 1990, Doctor Smith made his living will to make his family know his wishes regarding his treatment when he will no longer capable to make decision. His wishes was recorded, but unfortunately in early nineties there was no statutory authority for living wills. The guidance adds that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has a low success rate, especially for patients with serious conditions who are in poor general health. If used inappropriately, it may do more harm than good by prolonging the dying process and pain or suffering of serious ill patient, in a manner which could seen as degrading and undignified. ...read more.

Conclusion

[1993] Fam.95. Returning to the matter of Re B capacity, which occupied so much of the president's judgement, it is arguable the amount of attention directed to this issue is significant in itself. It may thought to give the lie to some of the more hard-edged obiter dicta from earlier case in which it had been asserted that the competent patients are entitled to refuse medical treatment (including life saving treatment) for no reason at all. Admittedly, near the beginning of her judgement, the president repeated a dictum just this effect from her own previous judgement in Re MB. This was immediately followed, however, Dr Walter Smith reasons for wishing to discontinue ventilation and refuse treatment in this case and his advance directive, apparently should stand as a precondition for finding him competent. ...read more.

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