End-of-Life Decisions and Their Legal Status in Turkey
With the developments in medical technology, most deaths have started to take place in the intensive care units of hospitals. Therefore medical staff have become decision-makers of the time and type of death. Such decisions put medical staff into conflicting situations in ethico-legal terms. In Turkey there is no specific law, which regulates the decisions made by the medi- cal staff at the end-of-life. Instead, existing laws are adapted to healthcare. However, the rapid development in medical technology and the concomitant ethical problems has not made it easier for the law to keep pace with these developments. Ethical guidelines which are prepared by medical associations and related institutions should lead the way for medical staff in such deci- sions. In this article, after describing the ethical decisions which are taken at the end-of-life and the criteria for such decisions, the existing legal regula- tions in Turkey will be specified.