Robert L. Fine, MD; Thomas Wm. Mayo, JD
Every U.S. state has developed legal rules to address end-of-life decision making. No law to date has effectively dealt with medical futilityan issue that has engendered significant debate in the medical and legal literature, many court cases, and a formal opinion from the American Medical Association's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. In 1999, Texas was the first state to adopt a law regulating end-of-life decisions, providing a legislatively sanctioned, extrajudicial, due process mechanism for resolving medical futility disputes and other end-of-life ethical disagreements. After 2 years of practical experience with this law, data collected at a large tertiary care teaching hospital strongly suggest that the law represents a first step toward practical resolution of this controversial area of modern health care. As such, the law may be of interest to practitioners, patients, and legislators elsewhere.
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Fine RL, Mayo TW. Resolution of Futility by Due Process: Early Experience with the Texas Advance Directives Act. Ann Intern Med. 2003;138:743-746. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-138-9-200305060-00011
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2003;138(9):743-746.
End-of-Life Care, Ethics.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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