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New Jersey needs independent panel to resolve disputes over end-of-life care

Posted May 12 2010 12:28pm
The New Jersey Star-Ledger Editorial Board has posted  an editorial  on the Betancourt case.  They write that New Jersey Legislature should consider creating an independent committee to handle these cases because "sometimes it is in the patient’s best interest to discontinue life support, even when family members are not ready to let go." 

I agree.  But the Trinitas Hospital prognosis committee is hardly "independent" in the requisite sense.  Independence from the treating physician is not sufficient.  Committees that adjudicate disputes with life and death stakes must be independent from the facility too.  The editors erroneously write that Texas has such an independent committee.  Texas leaves this to individual facilities' committees.

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