artificial life support

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artificial life support,

systems that use medical technology to aid, support, or replace a vital function of the body that has been seriously damaged. Such techniques include artificial pacemakerspacemaker, artificial,
device used to stimulate a rhythmic heartbeat by means of electrical impulses. Implanted in the body when the heart's own electrical conduction system (natural pacemaker) does not function normally, the battery-powered device emits impulses that trigger
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, internal defibrillatorsdefibrillator,
device that delivers an electrical shock to the heart in order to stop certain forms of rapid heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias). The shock changes a fibrillation to an organized rhythm or changes a very rapid and ineffective cardiac rhythm to a slower, more
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, dialysis machines (see kidney, artificialkidney, artificial,
mechanical device capable of assuming the functions ordinarily performed by the kidneys. In treating cases of kidney failure a tube is inserted into an artery in the patient's arm and blood is channeled through semipermeable tubes immersed in a bath
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), and respirators. The use of life-support systems to prolong the life of a patient who has suffered apparently irreversible damage to a vital organ system may raise such ethical issues as the quality of life, euthanasiaeuthanasia
, either painlessly putting to death or failing to prevent death from natural causes in cases of terminal illness or irreversible coma. The term comes from the Greek expression for "good death.
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, and the right to die, and has been the subject of much legal and moral debate. Some people specify their wishes concerning prolonged artificial life support, especially should they be in a persistent vegetative state (see comacoma,
in medicine, deep state of unconsciousness from which a person cannot be aroused even by painful stimuli. The patient cannot speak and does not respond to command.
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), in a living willliving will
or advance health care directive,
legal document in which a person expresses in advance his or her wishes concerning the use of artificial life support and other medical treatment should the person be unable to communicate such wishes due the effects of
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. A health-care proxyhealth-care proxy,
legal document in which a person assigns to another person, usually called an agent or proxy, the authority to make medical decisions in case of incapacitation. It is, in essence, a power of attorney for health care.
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 is another legal means of insuring that a person's wishes regarding artificial life support are respected, even if the person is unable to communicate those wishes.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Almost exactly the same response: 77% said the patient should be allowed to receive life support. Only 15% said the doctor should be allowed to withhold life support.
Jenny was among the first to start the Life Support pre-foundation course in Ebbw Vale last November.
One group of actions taken to bring about the death of a dying patient (withdrawal of life support, referred to by some as passive euthanasia) has been specifically upheld by the courts as a legal right of a patient to request and a legal act for a doctor to perform.
I mention all this because I believe the main audience for the Pediatric Advanced Life Support Study Guide by Barbara Aehlert will consist of professionals who approach the course with less background knowledge and less confidence in their ability to master the course material.
Even with a living will or at the request of the patient's proxy, withdrawal of life support is permitted only if the patient's condition is terminal.
His wife, Rachel Lambert, and others say he would not have wanted to live this way and should be taken off life support.
Talking to media outside Harley Street Clinic in London on Saturday, he said that the doctors will have a detail check up on Monday and will decide whether to remove Kulsoom Nawaz from life support or not.
He said that CPSP has arranged 168 Advance Trauma Life Support (ATLS) courses in which 2612 doctors were trained according international standard.
On Thursday, a High Court judge ruled that Charlie would be moved to a hospice and would have his life support withdrawn.
Ambulance staff took over his care and carried out advanced life support, but sadly, despite all efforts, it wasn't possible to save him and he was confirmed dead at the scene.