Futility: Ein Begriff Im Chirurgischen Alltag?
Mols, A M
Viehl, C T
Der Chirurg; Zeitschrift für alle Gebiete der operativen Medizen 2010 Jul; 81(7): 643-6
In surgical practice we are often confronted with ethically challenging situations when treating patients not capable of expressing their own wishes. Issues of futile treatment by indicating operations arise particularly with regard to severe dementia. The concept of futility describes forms of therapy which are not appropriate to improve the patient's condition, but for application in clinical practice the concept is insufficiently defined. In ethically challenging situations, e.g. in the treatment of severely demented patients, we need to balance the medical condition and prognosis with the documented or assumed wishes of the patients. Involving the relatives competently is essential. The indication for surgery in patients with severe dementia, for example, needs to be individualized striving for optimal care, a clear communication about treatment goals with the relatives and preventing distress and burnout for staff. Co-operation with specialists in medical ethics is recommended.
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