SAFEGUARD L FOR LIFE-ENDING DECISIONS
IN A HOSPITAL
The patient who is considering life-ending decisions
should be receiving medical care either in a hospital or a hospice
This safeguard is automatically fulfilled by the hospital or hospice
And the certification of this safeguard consists of
stating the name and address of the hospital or hospice
and the dates for the most recent care
that is relevant to the
end-of-life choices of the patient.
All the relevant medical records
will already be
carefully maintained by the medical institutions named.
And if it seems relevant, a summary of these medical records
can be assembled and added to the death-planning documents.
Could this hospital safeguard replace the "terminal
When the patient has been receiving medical care in a hospital or
the fact of being enrolled for such professional medical care
is sufficient proof that the patient has a serious medical condition.
And the exact facts of this medical condition will be contained in
physician's written statement of
condition and prognosis.
If the patient has been enrolled in a hospice program,
this generally means that everyone knows the condition
even if the medical records contain no official declaration of terminal
In some cases of valid wishes to die,
there will be no disease or condition that could be treated in a
and there will be no reason for hospice care.
These background facts can simply be reported,
explaining why this safeguard does not apply.
And then the other safeguards all become more important.
HOW HOSPITAL AND HOSPICE CARE DISCOURAGE
IRRATIONAL SUICIDE AND OTHER PREMATURE
Persons who find themselves tempted to commit
usually do not enroll themselves in hospital care or hospice programs.
Hospitals admit patients with real diseases or conditions to be treated.
Psychiatric treatment programs accept patients with
If the patient is already known to have suicidal
the program will treat the urge to commit irrational
Because every form of medical treatment includes
mistakes and abuses of the right-to-die are much less likely in
People plotting to commit murder or otherwise cause a premature
do not want their actions recorded by any medical institution.
When appropriate, hospitals and hospice programs
of the danger of mercy-killing taking place by some hidden means
while patients are supposed to be receiving medical care.
Additional surveillance and other security measures might be needed
if there is any suspicion that some family member
or even an enemy of
the patient is going to attempt to kill the patient
while that patient is receiving
hospital or hospice care.
All medical discussions and decisions are documented.
These medical records are kept private
except in those rare instances
where there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been
under the guise of hospital or hospice care.
created January 17,
2007; revised 2-1-2007; 3-15-2008; 4-28-2008; 2-6-2010; 5-20-2010;
5-27-2011; 12-15-2011: 1-29-2012; 2-22-2012; 3-23-2012; 8-2-2012;
8-22-2012; 11-15-2012; 5-22-2013
fact that the patient has been receiving some professional medical care
that there is some serious problem worth treating, not just an urge to
is Safeguard L in How
to Die: Safeguards for Life-Ending Decisions:
in a Hospital or Hospice".
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