Bartling v. Superior Court

Wests Calif Report. 1984 Dec 27;209:220-7.


KIE: The California Court of Appeal ruled that a competent adult patient, with diseases that are incurable but not yet diagnosed as terminal, may request withdrawal of life-support equipment despite the fact that withdrawal of such devices would result in death. The right of an adult of sound mind to refuse medical treatment outweighs the state's interest in preserving life, preventing suicide, and maintaining the ethical integrity of the medical profession. The physicians and the hospital may follow the patient's instructions without fear of liability and without prior court approval.

Publication types

  • Legal Case

MeSH terms

  • Advance Directives
  • California
  • Civil Rights*
  • Decision Making
  • Euthanasia, Passive*
  • Family
  • Freedom
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Judicial Role
  • Jurisprudence*
  • Liability, Legal
  • Living Wills
  • Mental Competency
  • Organizational Policy
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Prognosis
  • Right to Die*
  • Terminally Ill
  • Treatment Refusal*
  • Value of Life
  • Withholding Treatment