Lois Snyder, JD
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Snyder L.; When Doctors Say No: The Battleground of Medical Futility. Ann Intern Med. 1999;130:787. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-130-9-199905040-00025
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1999;130(9):787.
Rubin SB. 191 pages. Bloomington, IN: Indiana Univ Pr; 1998. $24.95. ISBN 0253334632. Order phone 800-842-6796.
Field of medicine: Medical ethics.
Format: Hardcover book.
Audience: Bioethicists, physicians, and policymakers.
Purpose: To critique arguments in the current debate over futility and explore alternatives to unilateral decision making by physicians in cases where medical treatment is deemed “futile.”
Content: The book provides context for, definitions in, and analysis of the concept of medical futility. Specific chapters discuss evaluative futility judgments (“a treatment is inappropriate because it would just not be worth it”) and physiologic futility judgments (“a treatment is ineffective because it would just not work”). After rejecting the idea of futility as a justification for unilateral decisions by physicians about care, the concluding chapter attempts to reframe the issue and calls for exploration of other grounds for refusal to provide certain treatments and for wider social debate. A bibliography of books, journal articles, position papers, and relevant court cases and statutes is provided.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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