Medical Ethics

At age 93 Aggie Jones is not letting a few days in the hospital slow her down, but Jones admits at her age the possibility of never returning home could be certain.

"If it is time to go home or if your heart stops, I am wondering how do you feel about that."

Doctor Andrew Dentino says one of the most common issues among elderly adults with terminal illnesses is whether to remain on life support.

"They already told me I am on my last round and I want him to hold me there, no I would not want them to try to keep me living."

Jones' condition is not terminal and she is expected to make a full recovery. Gerontologist Andrew Dentino serves on LSU'S hospital ethics committee. He says prolonged life technology and reproductive topics are big discussions now days among families and ethics committees.

"Now with cloning, the question is even how much we can create and it is even an issue of world population. It is different than 5 years ago."

Dentino says each hospital medical ethics committee has its own policies, but what it really amounts to is building a strong relationship and keeping an open line of communication with the patient and his family.