Article

Dilemmas surrounding passive euthanasia--a Malaysian perspective.

Faculty of Law, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Medicine and law 10/2005; 24(3):605-13.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In western societies where the principle of autonomy is jealously guarded, perhaps active euthanasia is more often the focus of public concern and debates rather than any other forms of euthanasia. However due to the advance in technology and its corresponding ability in prolonging life, in Malaysia passive euthanasia presents more of a dilemma. For those concerned and involved with end of life decision-making, it is generally agreed that this is an area fraught with not only medical but legal and ethical issues. In Malaysia where the society is not homogenous but is multi-cultural and multi-religious, in addition to medical, legal and ethical issues, religious principles and cultural norms further impact and play significant roles in end of life decision-making. This paper seeks to identify the issues surrounding the practice of passive euthanasia in Malaysia. It will be shown that despite applicable legal provisions, current practice of the medical profession combined with religious and cultural values together affect decision-making which involves the withholding and/or withdrawing of life-saving treatment.

94 Followers
 · 
1,112 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Decision making for an incompetent patient at the end of life is difficult for both family members and physicians alike. Often, palliative care teams are tasked with weaving through opinions, emotions, and goals in search for an amenable solution. Occasionally, these situations get challenging. We present the case of an elderly Chinese Singaporean with metastatic cancer, whose family and physicians had conflicting goals of care. The former was adamant on treating the patient's disease with an untested drug, whereas the latter aimed to treat his symptoms with more conventional medication. Drug-drug interactions prevented treatment with both. Beginning with a discussion of the patient's best interest, we delve into the Singaporean context to show how culture affects medical decision making. Confucianism and filial piety are the values on which this family's workings were based. In an analysis of what this entails, we attempt to explain the significant and assertive family involvement in the decision-making process and their insistence on using novel medications, having exhausted conventional interventions. Within this mix were Western influences, too. Through the Internet, family members have become more informed and empowered in decision making, wresting the traditional paternalistic role of physicians in favor of "patient autonomy." An understanding of such dynamic facets will help better tailor culturally appropriate approaches to such complex situations.
    Journal of pain and symptom management 12/2010; 40(6):932-7. DOI:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2010.06.010 · 2.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Involving patients in decision-making is an important part of patient-centred care. Research has found a discrepancy between patients' desire to be involved and their actual involvement in healthcare decision-making. In Asia, there is a dearth of research in decision-making. Using Malaysia as an exemplar, this study aims to review the current research evidence, practices, policies, and laws with respect to patient engagement in shared decision-making (SDM) in Asia. In this study, we conducted a comprehensive literature review to collect information on healthcare decision-making in Malaysia. We also consulted medical education researchers, key opinion leaders, governmental organisations, and patient support groups to assess the extent to which patient involvement was incorporated into the medical curriculum, healthcare policies, and legislation. There are very few studies on patient involvement in decision-making in Malaysia. Existing studies showed that doctors were aware of informed consent, but few practised SDM. There was limited teaching of SDM in undergraduate and postgraduate curricula and a lack of accurate and accessible health information for patients. In addition, peer support groups and 'expert patient' programmes were also lacking. Professional medical bodies endorsed patient involvement in decision-making, but there was no definitive implementation plan. In summary, there appears to be little training or research on SDM in Malaysia. More research needs to be done in this area, including baseline information on the preferred and actual decision-making roles. The authors have provided a set of recommendations on how SDM can be effectively implemented in Malaysia.
    BMC Health Services Research 10/2013; 13(1):408. DOI:10.1186/1472-6963-13-408 · 1.66 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The use of Nasogastric (NG) feeding in the provision of artificial nutrition and hydration at the end of life has, for the most part, been regarded as futile by the medical community. This position has been led chiefly by prevailing medical data. In Singapore, however, there has been an increase in its utilization supported primarily by social, religious and cultural factors expressly to prolong life of the terminally ill patient. Here this article will seek to review the ethical and clinical impact of this treatment and provide some understanding for such decisions in the light of the Duty of Palliative Care [DoPC]. Complemented by virtue ethics theory, the DoPC highlights and seeks to realize the individual case specific goals of care that maximize comfort and quality of life of the patient in the face of rapid attenuation of treatment options and the eminence of the final outcome by considering each of these factors individually in order to provide the best outcome for the patient and the family.
    Nursing Ethics 06/2011; 18(4):485-94. DOI:10.1177/0969733011403557 · 1.09 Impact Factor