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 ?
Does professional autonomy protect medical futility judgements?
For Halevy, a definition of medical futility that avoids a conflict of values is not available because the circumstances underlying use of the term pit patient autonomy directly against healthcare providers' professional integrity.
Notwithstanding widely accepted ethical notions of medical futility, there are state and federal statutes touching on DNR orders that warrant careful attention.
In 1998, the AMA followed its 1994 medical futility definition with an opinion which set out proposed guidelines for physicians to follow:
Memorial Hermann Hospital] established a Medical Futility Review Committee (MFRC), separate from the standing ethics committee, as an ad hoc group of three physicians and three nurses chosen for expertise in the patient's condition and not involved in the particular patient's care.
The concept of medical futility has the potential to be of benefit in that it helps to delineate the limitations and boundaries of technological medicine and allows for the acceptance of death as a natural outcome of life and a potential friend.
What has been problematic for the judges in these cases has been the lack of professional or institutional policies on medical futility against which they could judge compliance or noncompliance (Council of Ethical and Judicial Affairs, 1999).
The presence of medical futility guidelines parallels a shift from fee-for-service to managed care, said Wesley J.
Brody, Letter to the Editor, Medical Futility in End-of-Life care, 282 JAMA 1331, 1331 (1999).
The nurse is faced with the ethical tension of advocating for the family's needs to keep trying, the child's needs for comfort care, and the insurance company's needs to limit payment for unproven treatments (The reader is referred to a more thorough discussion on medical futility in a new book by Rubin [1998]).
11) By the early 1990s, debate in the medical and biomedical ethics literature raged regarding the definition and utility of the medical futility concept.
She argues that clinical practice guidelines and medical futility policies are routinely ignored.

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