Legal aspects of Termination or Continuation of Treatment of Vegetative State

Document Type : Original Article


1 university of Maragheh

2 shiraz university



Vegetative State is a type of brain damage that despite the death of the brain hemispheres, brain stem continues to work. Due to the medical criteria of death and uncertainty about the possibility of recovery of these patients, there are doubts about their living conditions. These doubts have created challenges for discontinuing or continuing treatment of these patients. Discontinuation of the treatment in situations where due to the prolongation of vegetative state and special conditions of patients, there is no medical hope, is the question that the present study addresses. In the precedents of some legal systems such as United States and United Kingdom, different criteria have been proposed. Attention to the patient's will is one of the important criteria. Despite some differences in practice, these criteria have come closer to each other and most legal systems have defended the possibility of discontinuing treatment. The lack of such criteria in Iranian law and the fact that this person is considered alive from a medical point of view and the sanctity of the right of life, makes it difficult to pay attention to the patient's will to stop treatment in Iranian law


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