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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627


HERNANDO, P.; DIESTRE, G.  y  BAIGORRI, F.. Limitation of therapeutic effort: A "question for professionals or for patients as well?". Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2007, vol.30, suppl.3, pp.129-135. ISSN 1137-6627.

Limitation of therapeutic effort (LTE) is a medical term that is not free of polemic. Thus, some hold that limitation is an expression that could be considered pejorative and believe it would be more appropriate to speak of "adjustment", in order to avoid "negative" considerations concerning patient care. Because it is not a case of "ceasing to act" but of adopting a proactive attitude that includes adding or modifying measures according to the therapeutic aims of the moment. There are numerous definitions of LTE. They usually coincide in referring to not starting or withdrawing a certain treatment in which no benefits to the patient are generated, in situations where the latter is able or unable to decide for himself. Its justification is found facing a perception of disproportion between therapeutic ends and means. Nowadays, LET is fully accredited. Its use is very frequent in the field of critical care, with positions adopted by different scientific societies that endorse it to the point of considering it a standard of quality. LTE has been dealt with from numerous perspectives in many articles and forums of debate, so it would initially seems difficult to contribute something novel concerning the issue. However, there is one question that does not seem to have been sufficiently explored: Does the decision on LTE have a purely technical character, that is to say, is it the responsibility of the professional, or should the patient also intervene, or if he/she is unable to, his/her representative?

Palabras clave : Limitation of therapeutic effort; Bioethics; End of life; Good clinical practice.

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