What happens when life support is removed?


Quick Answer

After the removal of the life support, the hospital staff will keep the patient comfortable until his or her death. The time that a person will stay prior to his or her death depends on the their condition and the disease. In some cases, when a person's brain function is gone, he or she cannot recover at all, as stated by Fairview.

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Full Answer

Before the hospital staff removes the life support from an individual, the patient or the family members must give consent to that. In most cases, the patient may not be able to make his or her decisions. Therefore, family members take the responsibility of making a decision that the patient would have likely made. The two approaches for making such a decision are substituted judgment and best interests, as stated by the National Institute on Aging.

In substituted judgment, a person will try to make a decision that the patient would have made. This will depends on the patient's beliefs and opinion about life support or other related cases. The approach of best interests involves making a decision that would be the best for the patient. A decision can either be made by the whole family or one person who is the spokesperson of the family.

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