It seems like a bad idea to me - as it says in the full article, what if they start basing futility on income or other factors? Not good...

*****

Hospitals Trimming Treatments for Dying 
Thu Dec 12, 3:58 AM ET
By DAVID B. CARUSO, Associated Press 

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Time after time, Peter Clark heard parents at Georgetown University Hospital beg doctors to save the lives of their dying children. 

And throughout the neonatal intensive care unit, he heard doctors promise to try. Even if it meant cramming tubes down the children's throats, cutting open their chests or bombarding their frail bodies with radiation. Even when they knew the treatments couldn't save them, and would only fill their final days with pain. 

Clark spent a year observing medical ethics at the Washington, D.C., hospital. The dilemma he witnessed occurs daily in hospitals nationwide, and a growing number have crafted policies allowing doctors to cease aggressive treatments of terminally ill patients, even when relatives want them to keep fighting. 

Within a year, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania plans to adopt ethics guidelines under which doctors could decline to admit patients to an intensive care unit if they have been in a persistent vegetative state for at least three to six months. 

In such cases, the hospital would continue to offer care to ease a patients' pain, but wouldn't take invasive steps like putting the patient on a breathing machine or performing surgery, said Dr. Horace DeLisser, who co-chairs the ethics committee implementing the guidelines.... 
 
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337 hits Rate me! Share Favorite | Flag 19 years ago by KikiPeepers

Do you agree with this new hospital policy that calls for `medical futility` when dealing with dying patients?
It seems like a bad idea to me - as it says in the full article, what if they start basing futility on income or other factors? Not good...

*****

Hospitals Trimming Treatments for Dying

Thu Dec 12, 3:58 AM ET

By DAVID B. CARUSO, Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Time after time, Peter Clark heard parents at Georgetown University Hospital beg doctors to save the lives of their dying children.

And throughout the neonatal intensive care unit, he heard doctors promise to try. Even if it meant cramming tubes down the children`s throats, cutting open their chests or bombarding their frail bodies with radiation. Even when they knew the treatments couldn`t save them, and would only fill their final days with pain.

Clark spent a year observing medical ethics at the Washington, D.C., hospital. The dilemma he witnessed occurs daily in hospitals nationwide, and a growing number have crafted policies allowing doctors to cease aggressive treatments of terminally ill patients, even when relatives want them to keep fighting.

Within a year, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania plans to adopt ethics guidelines under which doctors could decline to admit patients to an intensive care unit if they have been in a persistent vegetative state for at least three to six months.

In such cases, the hospital would continue to offer care to ease a patients` pain, but wouldn`t take invasive steps like putting the patient on a breathing machine or performing surgery, said Dr. Horace DeLisser, who co-chairs the ethics committee implementing the guidelines....

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tm...


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19 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Thursday 12/19/02 - 9:34:57 AM EST (GMT-5)
Well I thought when a patient was terminally ill they really stopped all the invasive treatment and just medicated the patient so they are no in pain I can understand that the Doctors are trying to accomadate the wishes of the family, but if there is nothing they can do, why put the patient under more stress. Seems a bit selfish on the familys part.
19 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Saturday 12/21/02 - 12:54:27 PM EST (GMT-5)
I don't see why it's needed. In the US hospitals I've dealt with, people who go in for surgeries and are mentally sound normally fill out a living will which asks questions about such treatments. The patient gives permission to bypass invasive treatments by completing this info. Also, patients who are terminally ill, but mentally sound, are normally advised to fill out the will and go into a hospice program even when living at home which honors the patient's wishes for non-invasive treatments. Maybe more public education is needed to encourage everyone to fill out a living will, rather than let hospitals decide.



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