a gratuitous encroachment upon the medical profession’s field of competence...

ida2

Senior Member
Persian - Iran
Hello,

Could you please explain/paraphrase the bold part in the context below? I’ve found it somewhat hard to understand.

The court held unanimously that if Karen’s guardian and family, her attending physician, and a hospital “ethics committee” agreed that “there is no reasonable possibility” of recovering a “cognitive and sapient state,” the ventilator may be withdrawn. The court also declared that generally such decisions need not be brought to court “not only because that would be a gratuitous encroachment upon the medical profession’s field of competence, but because it would be impossibly cumbersome.”

More explanation: Karen Ann Quinlan was a 22-year-old woman in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) because of an unknown illness. Her physicians agreed that she would never regain consciousness. She was on mechanical ventilation, and her physicians believed that she would die if the ventilator were withdrawn. Her father, after consulting with his priest and the hospital chaplain, asked that the ventilator be withdrawn. When the physicians refused, her father asked the courts to appoint him Karen’s legal guardian with the authority to terminate the ventilator. The Catholic bishops of New Jersey supported his request.

Source: Resolving Ethical Dilemmas: A Guide for Clinicians by Bernard Lo
 
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    It means that the decision to withdraw the ventilator from the patient should be the decision of the family, the medical staff and an 'ethics committee' because bringing it to court is not appropriate: the medical profession is best placed to make the decision (it is the doctors' field of competence – the law should not get involved); and it also unnecessarily takes up a lot of the court's time (impossibly cumbersome).
     

    ida2

    Senior Member
    Persian - Iran
    It means that the decision to withdraw the ventilator from the patient should be the decision of the family, the medical staff and an 'ethics committee' because bringing it to court is not appropriate: the medical profession is best placed to make the decision (it is the doctors' field of competence – the law should not get involved); and it also unnecessarily takes up a lot of the court's time (impossibly cumbersome).
    Thank you so much.
     
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