"Withholding Treatment" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus,
MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure,
which enables searching at various levels of specificity.
Withholding or withdrawal of a particular treatment or treatments, often (but not necessarily) life-prolonging treatment, from a patient or from a research subject as part of a research protocol. The concept is differentiated from REFUSAL TO TREAT, where the emphasis is on the health professional's or health facility's refusal to treat a patient or group of patients when the patient or the patient's representative requests treatment. Withholding of life-prolonging treatment is usually indexed only with EUTHANASIA, PASSIVE, unless the distinction between withholding and withdrawing treatment, or the issue of withholding palliative rather than curative treatment, is discussed.
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