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Treatment refusal by an elderly man suffering intensely from treatment- resistant depression
Psychiatric Services 1995; doi:
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Abstract

The authors consider the ethical issues involved in a case in which an elderly man suffering from recurrent, treatment-resistant depression expressed a wish to forgo life-sustaining treatment should it become necessary. The patient had no immediate life-threatening medical conditions but was in danger of becoming malnourished and dehydrated. The authors conclude that unrelieved suffering resulting from depression, when combined with repeated treatment failures, may justify refusal of life-sustaining treatment in very rare cases.

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