Judging Who Should Live: Schneiderman and Jecker on the Duty Not to Treat
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 1998 Oct; 23(5): 500-515.
In this paper, I consider the thesis advanced by Lawrence J. Schneiderman and Nancy S. Jecker that physicians should be forbidden from offering futile treatments to patients. I distinguish between a version of this thesis that is trivially true and Schneiderman and Jecker's more substantive version of the thesis. I find that their positive arguments for their thesis are unsuccessful, and sometimes quite misleading. I advance an argument against their thesis, and find that, on balance, their thesis should be rejected. I briefly argue that a resolution of the debate about medical futility will require addressing deeper issues about value.
Allowing to Die; Alternative Therapies; Alternatives; Autonomy; Beneficence; Decision Making; Futility; Goals; Intensive Care Units; Life; Medicine; Moral Policy; Palliative Care; Patient Care; Patients; Personhood; Physicians; Prolongation of Life; Quality of Life; Resuscitation; Standards; Treatment Outcome; Values; Withholding Treatment;
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Jecker, Nancy S.; Schneiderman, Lawrence J. (1993)In this paper, we examine in closer detail the ethical implications of medical futility. Section one introduces an illustrative case involving a clearly futile medical treatment. Section two outlines three contrasting positions ...