Posted on May 9, 2019 at 4:00 AM
Sam Hodge has just published “Wrongful Prolongation of Life – A Cause of Action that May Have Finally Moved into the Mainstream” in the Quinnipiac Law Review.
Hodge argues: “Historically, physicians were able to act with impunity concerning end-of-life decisions because the courts did not recognize an action for wrongful prolongation of life. Many in the medical community believed that if ‘you do intervene and you shouldn’t have, the worst that will happen is that the patient will live a little longer and that you’ll never be held accountable if you keep the patient from dying.'”
Hodge observes: “This attitude is undergoing a metamorphosis as an increasing number of patients who have signed DNR orders are suing or subjecting medical providers to disciplinary proceedings for saving their lives.”
Hodge’s article provides “a historical background on DNR orders and the various legislative initiatives undertaken to ensure that medical providers honor a person’s end-of-life wishes.” It then explores “the evolution of the wrongful prolongation of life litigation in a chronological fashion, with a focus on the majority of cases that do not allow recovery and the more recent determinations that have offered patients relief for the failure to honor their end-of-life directives.”