(NRO) – “Futile care” is ad hoc health care rationing. It permits a doctor to refuse wanted life-sustaining treatment that is working, based on the values of the MD that keeping the patient alive is not the “medically appropriate” approach. The term “medically appropriate” in such cases is a misnomer.
The “refuse wanted treatment decision” is really a subjective values judgment of the doctor, as opposed to an objective medical determination. Or to put it another way, the treatment isn’t refused because it doesn’t work, but because it does or will. “Medically ineffective” treatment would seem to be wholly different concept, an objective determination that a requested intervention will not work. CONTINUE