Commentary: Bringing Clarity to the Futility Debate: Are the Cases Wrong? Lawrence J. Schneiderman

Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 7 (3):273-278 (1998)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Howard Brody expresses concern that citing the “two cases that put futility on the map,” namely Helga Wanglie and Baby K, may be providing ammunition to the opponents of the concept of medical futility. He in fact joins well-known opponents of the concept of medical futility in arguing that it is one thing for the physician to say whether a particular intervention will promote an identified goal, quite another to say whether a goal is worth pursuing. In the latter instance, physicians are laying themselves open “to the criticism of taking on basic value judgments that are more appropriately left to patients and their surrogates.” Brody states that in both the Wanglie and Baby K cases, the “basic value judgments” had to do with the worthiness of maintaining unconscious life via medical technology. He classifies this as “a question of professional integrity—but not a question of futility,” adding that “more than semantics hinges on this distinction.” The “more than semantics” factor is a pragmatic, even political one. Failure to make this distinction renders physicians “that much more suspect and less trustworthy in the public debate.”

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 89,621

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Bringing Clarity to the Futility Debate: Don't Use the Wrong Cases.Howard Brody - 1998 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 7 (3):269-273.
Judging who should live: Schneiderman and Jecker on the duty not to treat.William Harper - 1998 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 23 (5):500 – 515.
Medical Futility: The Duty Not to Treat.Nancy S. Jecker & Lawrence J. Schneiderman - 1993 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 2 (2):151.
Wrong medicine: doctors, patients, and futile treatment.L. J. Schneiderman - 1995 - Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Edited by Nancy Ann Silbergeld Jecker.
Defining Medical Futility and Improving Medical Care.Lawrence J. Schneiderman - 2011 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (2):123-131.
The perils of hope.Lawrence J. Schneiderman - 2005 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 14 (2):235-239.
The Media and the Medical Market.Lawrence J. Schneiderman - 2007 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 16 (4):420.

Analytics

Added to PP
2010-08-24

Downloads
75 (#198,091)

6 months
6 (#199,414)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?