Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

The 51st Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Neurology

Withdrawal of life-support from ALS patients in so called totally locked in state:from the viewpoint of clinical ethics

Tetsuro Shimizu, Ph.D.

Uehiro Endowed Chair for Death and Life Studies, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo

In Japanese context, there has been a controversy concerning the withdrawal of life-support, i.e. respiratory system, from ALS patients when, along of the progress of the disease, they have become not able to express themselves at all to people around them, i.e. when they are in so called 'totally locked in state (TLS)'. Basing himself on the system of clinical ethics he has been developing in accord with Japanese culture, the author (1) reconstitutes the logic of justifying the withdrawal in dispute, (2) examines objections against officially recognizing such withdrawal, and (3) proposes an appropriate process of decision making which he hopes to be acceptable to both sides in the controversy.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (182K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 50: 1029|1030, 2010)
key words: clinical ethics, totally locked in state, withdrawal of respiratory system, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Japanese context

(Received: 22-May-10)