Statement of Medical Care Principles
These help you to tell healthcare workers about the standards of medical practice you expect to receive.
Those responsible for administering medical care should pursue the following objectives:
- sustaining life
- restoring health where possible
- preventing deterioration in health and alleviating suffering.
Quality of life assessments should not be used to determine that the individual is no longer entitled to due respect, care and treatment.
What the principles mean in practice
The following points are to guide those who are involved in caring for patients. They may be updated from time to time.
- Every patient is to be respected as a human being with inherent human rights, especially the right to life and respect for intrinsic dignity.
- Every patient is entitled to receive all appropriate medical and nursing care.
- The provision of food and fluids, even when artificially delivered, is ordinary care to which each patient is entitled for so long as he or she is able to assimilate it.
- Medical treatment for everyone is to be applied for as long as it is appropriate in dealing with the patient's condition.
- All care and treatment should be given in accordance with the established medical ethical teachings of the Hippocratic tradition, in harmony with the religious tradition of the patient.
- No decision to withhold or withdraw treatment should be made with the intention of bringing about the death of the patient.