Medical Futility: When Further Therapy Is Hopeless
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This chapter addresses the ethical issues regarding those situations in which medical and surgical therapy have failed and further action will not alter a patient’s clinical deterioration. The topic of medical futility is discussed at length, including the possible motivations behind its definition and the attempts to codify and define it in modern medicine. That this concept is so difficult to define and is unfortunately persistent in the care of high risk pediatric cardiac surgery and cardiology patients, makes it a very important subject with which congenital heart practitioners should be familiar.
KeywordsFutility Congenital heart disease Philosophy Medical ethics
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