Practical Reviews

Defining, Much Less Determining, Medical Futility in Busy ED Is Daunting Challenge


Background: The concept of futility has a substantial place in medical ethics, and it has entered into clinical decision making as a proposed reason for withholding or withdrawing medical treatment, even in the face of patient and family requests. Objective: To review the meanings suggested for futility, specific challenges relevant to the ED, and the key legal background. Pertinent Points: (1) "Futile" is classically defined as "incapable of producing any result; ineffective, usel more...
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