Læknablaðið : fylgirit - 01.09.1977, Blaðsíða 28

Læknablaðið : fylgirit - 01.09.1977, Blaðsíða 28
,jixDcedures and medical equipment of the institution; c. to ensure that all Dersons have the opportunity to prepare themselves psychologically zo face the f act of death, and to pro- vide the necessary assistance to this end both through the trea- ting personnel - doctors, nurses and aids - who should be given the basic training to enable them to discuss these problems with persons approaching the end of life, and through psychiatrists, clergymen or specialised social workers attached to hospitals; II. to establish national commissions of enquiry, composed of representatives of all levels of the medical profession, lawyers, moral theologians, psychologists and sociologists, to establish ethical rules for the treatment of persons approaching the end of life, and to determine the medical guiding principles for the ap- plication of extraordinary measures to prolong life, thereby con- sidering inter alia the situation which may confront members of the medical profession, such as legal sanctions, whether civil or penal, when they have refrained from effecting artificial mea- sures to prolong the death process in the case of terminal pa- tients, whose lives cannot be saved by present-day medicine, or have taken positive measures whose primary intention was to re- lieve suffering in such patients and which could have a subsi- diary effect on the process of dying, and to examine the question of written declarations made by legally competent persons, autho- rising doctors to abstain from life-prolonging measures, in par- ticular in the case of irreversibie e^ssafion of brain furetion; III. to establish, if no comparable organisations already exist, national commissions to consider complaints against medical person- nel for errors of negligence in the practice of their profession, and this without prejudice to the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts; LV. 10 intorm the Counci_i oi ^urc-pe ot their aricU.yti<_ai íindingb and conclusions for the purpose of harmonising criteria regarding the rights of the sick and dying and the legal and technical means of guaranteeing their application. RESOLUTION ON THE RIGHTS OF THE SICK AND DYING The Assembly. 1. Believing ... that the true interests of the sick are not al- ways best served by a zealous appiication of the most modern tech- niques for prolonging life; 2. Convinced that what dying patients most want is to die in peace and dignity, if possible with the comfort and support of their family and friends; 3. Concerned that unnecessary .anguish may be caused by uncert-

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