Ethical Considerations for Life-sustaining Treatments
Ethical Considerations for Life-sustaining Treatments

Ethical Considerations for Life-sustaining Treatments

by Mark Hughes, MD, MA

Ethical considerations surrounding life-sustaining treatments are fundamental for medical students to grasp. They not only form the basis of compassionate patient care but also feature prominently in medical licensing exams such as the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

Medical students must grasp the ethical nuances of withholding and withdrawing treatment as well as underpinning DNAR orders, which prioritize respecting patient autonomy and preventing non-beneficial, invasive interventions. On the USMLE, students may encounter questions involving the appropriate documentation of DNR orders, discussions with patients and families about DNR preferences, and the implications of such orders in different clinical scenarios.

In summary, understanding the ethical considerations surrounding life-sustaining treatments is vital for medical students and is a recurring theme on the USMLE. Proficiency in these concepts ensures that future physicians can provide compassionate, patient-centered care while respecting the principles of medical ethics and the law.

Course Details

  • Videos 8
  • Duration 0:37 h
  • Quiz questions 19
  • Concept Pages 2


Your Educators of course Ethical Considerations for Life-sustaining Treatments

 Mark Hughes, MD, MA

Mark Hughes, MD, MA

Dr. Mark Hughes Mark, MD, MA, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a core faculty member in the Berman Institute of Bioethics.

Dr. Hughes received his MD from Stony Brook University in 1992 and his MA in philosophy (bioethics) from Georgetown University in 2003. He is the co-chair of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Ethics Committee and Consultation Service. Dr. Hughes directs several courses in clinical ethics and research ethics in undergraduate and graduate medical education and continuing medical education.

Within Lecturio, Dr. Hughes teaches Medical Ethics.

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