Quality of Life, Ethical Decisions, and the Patient's Story


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Abstract

Advances in health care technology have the potential to increase longevity and relieve suffering. However, not all people will benefit; the quality of their lives may not be better. Consequently, use of this advanced technology creates ethical situations for health care providers and their patients. Quality of life becomes a key factor to consider; yet, this is an illusive idea. Since quality of life is subjective, multidimensional, and contextual, there is a need to hear the patient's story. What is important to the individual patient and produces the most satisfaction for the patient should become the primary criteria to consider when these ethical situations arise.

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