Ethical Issues: Futility Policies
Fleming, David A.
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Futility, in general, is the inability to achieve an intended goal or outcome. Biomedical futility more specifically is a clinical judgment that, in light of the patient's current clinical circumstance, it is not physiologically possible for an intervention to achieve its intended and predictable biomedical and therapeutic goals; therefore the proposed intervention would be medically ineffective.
Ethical Issues Series;March 2005
Center for Health Ethics publications