Futility, Autonomy, and the Respect Due to Human Life

This paper explores the intricate questions surrounding medical futility. It demonstrates that while personal agency and appropriate respect for life require a patient to pursue ordinary/proportionate medical interventions and entitles the patient to pursue extraordinary/disproportionate treatment options, it does not grant the patient the right to demand any treatment they want.  This paper reaches the conclusion that if a treatment is futile it should be stopped or foregone. In determining if a specific treatment is futile, both the autonomy of the physician and the patient must be respected and neither can impose his will on the other, ultimately leading to situations where the only answer is the discontinue to the physician/patient relationship.

Futility, Autonomy, and the Appropriate Respect Due to Human Life

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