Wrong Medicine: Doctors, Patients, and Futile Treatment

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JHU Press, 1995 - Medical - 200 pages
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In Wrong Medicine, Lawrence J. Schneiderman, M.D., and Nancy S. Jecker, Ph.D., address issues that have occupied the media and the courts since the time of Karen Ann Quinlan. The authors examine the ethics of cases in which medical treatment is offered--or mandated--even if a patient lacks the capacity to appreciate its benefit or if the treatment will still leave a patient totally dependent on intensive medical care.

In exploring these timely issues Schneiderman and Jecker reexamine the doctor-patient relationship and call for a restoration of common sense and reality to what we expect from medicine. They discuss economic, historical, and demographic factors that affect medical care and offer clear definitions of what constitutes futile medical treatment. And they address such topics as the limits on unwanted treatment, the shift from the "Age of Physician Paternalism" to the "Age of Patient Autonomy," health care rationing, and the adoption of new ethical standards.

 

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Contents

Why It Is Hard to Say No
22
Why We Must Say No
35
Families Who Want Everything Done
53
Futility and Rationing
65
Medical Futility in a Litigious Society
83
Ethical Implications of Medical Futility
97
The Way It Is NowThe Way It Ought to
186
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About the author (1995)

Lawrence J. Schneiderman, M.D, is Professor Emeritus at UCSD Medical School and Visiting Scholar in the Program in Medicine and Human Values at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. He has been a visiting scholar and visiting professor at institutions in the United States and
abroad and has written more than 170 medical and scientific publications, as well as a novel and award-winning plays and short stories.

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