Medical Decision-Making and the Human Lifespan

2015-2016 Theme

“Medical Decision Making around Life” can involve: the beginning of life, end of life treatments and palliative care, autonomy and consent, and quality of life.

Everyday we make hundreds and even thousands of decisions. What to eat for breakfast, when to leave for work, and when to stop working and go to sleep. These decisions are usually quick and are lower stakes. However, sometimes we are required to make decisions that are not as easy and could have significant consequences. Questions about life and death are not simple and sometimes there is not correct answer. This is what defines an ethical decision. It is important to discuss our values and our wishes so that they can be clearly communicate them when the time comes. This is a topic that applies to all of us and one that we should all familiarize ourselves with. Ethical conundrums can sometimes seem far fetched and disconnected from real life. Medical decision making in the human lifespan is significant to all of our lives.

How much of a say do you really have in making medical decisions? How do autonomy, fairness, and justice inform/affect these decisions?

The topic of Medical Decision Making and the Human Lifespan covers many topics. It involves the beginning of life, end of life treatments and palliative care, issues surrounding competence and informed consent, and other related ethical considerations. These ethical considerations are significant in allowing us to make informed medical decisions, and ensure that legal systems we have in place are fair for all involved.