Life-saving Technologies Raise Critical Ethical Issues | Vital Signs | UCLA Health

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Vital Signs S P R I NG 2 0 1 3 | V O L U M E 5 8 F E AT U R E S T O R I E S TomoTherapy for Cancer Page 4 Rheumatology Page 6 Q&A: Quality Healthcare Page 8 Community Calendar Page 12 Life-saving Technologies Raise Critical Ethical Issues Remarkable advances in technology have made it possible for medical teams at major centers such as UCLA to save the lives of patients who in years past would have had little to no chance for survival. In some cases, such treatments carry the hope of restoring very sick patients to relatively normal lives. But such scenarios can also raise difficult ethical questions, particularly when a treatment has a low likelihood of success but a substantial chance of leaving the patient with an unacceptable quality of life. In such cases, it’s important for patients and their families to talk with their doctors ahead of time so that Continued on page 7