medical futility


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futility

 [fu-til´ĭ-te]
the quality of not leading to a desired result.
medical futility the judged futility of medical care, used as a reason to limit care. Two reasons for making this judgment are (1) to conserve resources and (2) to protect clinician integrity. The types are physiologic futility and normative futility.
normative futility a judgment of medical futility made for a treatment that is seen to have a physiologic effect but is believed to have no benefit.
physiologic futility a judgment of medical futility based on the observation of no physiologic effect of the treatment.

medical futility

1 a judgment that further medical treatment of a patient would have no useful result.
2 a medical treatment whose success is possible although reasoning and experience suggest that it is highly improbable.

medical futility

Ethics
A subjective term encompassing a range of possibilities of whether a patient will benefit from efforts designed to improve his or her life and survive to discharge from a healthcare facility. 

Application of the futility rationale in withholding or withdrawing medical interventions (e.g., do not resuscitate orders) requires both practice guidelines and a better understanding of the concept of medical futility in general. For example, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is divided into quantitative futility (low probability of success) and qualitative futility (poor quality of life if CPR is performed); this definition for futility may be a stumbling block in determining whether a person should be subjected to CPR if the likelihood for a “meaningful existence” is minimal.

Medtalk
The lack of efficacy of a particular manoeuvre in reducing morbidity and mortality.

medical futility

Futile resuscitation, futility Biomedical ethics A subjective term that encompasses a range of probabilities that a Pt will benefit from efforts designed to improve his life and survive to discharge from a health care facility Medtalk The lack of efficacy of a particular maneuver in ↓ M&M. See Advance directive, DNR, Futility. See DNR orders. Cf Euthanasia.
References in periodicals archive ?
Notwithstanding widely accepted ethical notions of medical futility, there are state and federal statutes touching on DNR orders that warrant careful attention.
In "Medical Futility, Patient Autonomy, and Professional Integrity: Finding the Appropriate Balance," Amir Halevy traces the roots of the Medical futility debate to the shift in decision-making authority between physician and patient.
By 1999-2000, not only had the number of cases dramatically increased, but the ethics committee was seeing a much higher number of medical futility cases.
He has authored and/or contributed to eight books including Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, Medical Futility and the Complementary/Alternative Medicine: An Evidenced-Based Approach.
2) Two kinds of medical futility are often distinguished: quantitative futility, where the likelihood that an intervention will benefit the patient is exceedingly poor; and qualitative futility, where the quality of benefit an intervention will produce is exceedingly poor.
Medical inappropriateness, like medical futility, is conceptually related to the goals of a particular treatment, (23) such as whether a specific treatment is likely to achieve the goals of a patient, or the goals for which the treatment is intended.
Acceptance of the concept of medical futility facilitates a paradigm shift from curative to palliative medicine, accommodating a more humane approach and avoiding unnecessary suffering in the course of the dying process.
Although physicians can legally justify changing a patient's code status on the basis of medical futility without patient or family input, in practice this is rarely done.
Rather, in medical futility bioethicists and doctors unilaterally determine when the quality of a human life, or the cost of sustaining it, makes it not worth living.
This practical approach, described in more detail elsewhere, represents an important advance in developing a workable process to settle disputes over medical futility (12).
The program will help participants assist patients and families through the end-of-life decision process and explore the issues of physician-assisted suicide, medical futility, withdrawal/withholding of life support and palliative care.
To help them maneuver through ethical land mines, many hospitals are developing medical futility guidelines to resolve disputes equitably.

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