Life-sustaining treatment replaces or supports ailing bodily function. When people have treatable conditions, life support is used temporarily until the illness or disease can be stabilized and the body can resume normal functioning. At times, the body never regains the ability to function without the life support or life-sustaining treatment.
Some commonly used life-sustaining treatment includes:
- Cardiopulomonary Resuscitation
- Intubation and Mechanical Ventilation
- Artificial Hydration and Nutrition (e.g. long-term feeding tube placement)
It is legally and ethically appropriate to discontinue medical treatments that are no longer beneficial. It is the underlying disease, not the act of withdrawing treatment, which causes death.
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