The attention that the Schiavo case has brought to end-of-life decisionmaking presents an opportunity to re-examine current laws addressing treatment for incompetent patients. In the United States, the right to self-determination is the primary value in making treatment decisions for incompetent patients. Alternatively the United Kingdom and Australia recognize a more objective "best interest" approach, and Japan places primary importance on the role of families in end-of-life decisionmaking. This note describes these different approaches to making treatment decisions for patients in persistent vegetative states and explores how the "best interest" and family-centered approaches can inform and improve healthcare law in the United States.
End-of-Life Decisionmaking for Patients in Persistent Vegetative States: A Comparative Analysis,
30 Hastings Int'l & Comp. L. Rev. 477
Available at: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_international_comparative_law_review/vol30/iss3/5