David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (2):207-224 (1995)
The debate over futility is driven, in part, by physicians' desire to recover some measure of decision-making authority from their patients. The standard approach begins by noting that certain interventions are futile for certain patients and then asserts that doctors have no obligation to provide futile treatment. The concept of futility is a complex one, and many commentators find it useful to distinguish ‘physiological futility’ from ‘qualitative futility’. The assertion that physicians can decide to withhold physiologically futile treatment generates little controversy. The claim that they can withhold qualitatively futile treatment runs afoul of standard objections to medical paternalism. There is reason to believe that the conceptual distinction will not be maintained in clinical practice. This paper contends that the scientific data which would support a physician's unilateral decision to withhold physiologically futile treatment also provide support for an institutional policy restricting access to the treatment. The data the doctor uses to take decision-making power out of the hands of the patient can be used by the administrator to take power out of the hands of the doctor. While this loss of power is unproblematic, there is reason to believe that the ambiguity in the term ‘futility’ will allow a much greater loss of physicians' power. Keywords: futility, physician authority CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michael Ashby (2011). The Futility of Futility: Death Causation is the 'Elephant in the Room' in Discussions About Limitation of Medical Treatment. [REVIEW] Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (2):151-154.
L. J. Schneiderman (1995). Wrong Medicine: Doctors, Patients, and Futile Treatment. Johns Hopkins University Press.
M. Wreen (2007). Medical Futility and Physician Discretion. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 1 (3):257-267.
Lawrence J. Schneiderman (1995). When Families Request That 'Everything Possible' Be Done. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (2):145-163.
Brooke Alan Trisel (2002). Futility and the Meaning of Life Debate. Sorites (14):70-84.
William H. Bruening (1992). Autonomy and Futility. HEC Forum 4 (5):305-313.
Amir Halevy (1995). Is Futility a Futile Concept? Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (2):123-144.
Alireza Bagheri, Atsushi Asai & Ryuichi Ida (2006). Experts' Attitudes Towards Medical Futility: An Empirical Survey From Japan. [REVIEW] BMC Medical Ethics 7 (1):1-7.
Loretta M. Kopelman (1995). Conceptual and Moral Disputes About Futile and Useful Treatments. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 20 (2):109-121.
Added to index2010-08-24
Total downloads8 ( #192,196 of 1,410,123 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #177,589 of 1,410,123 )
How can I increase my downloads?