Who Are the Stakeholders?
The ethical questions arising out of termination of life support for incompetent adults may be categorized by the interests of the various stakeholders: patients, physicians, hospitals, families, and society. These stakeholders have both conflicting and complementary interests. The shifting of these interests through time has shaped the history of thinking about termination of life- support decisions. Balancing these interests requires finding an ethical course of action within the constraints imposed by the legal system. [Carton R. The road to euthanasia. JAMA. 1990;263:2221.]