posted on Jul, 8 2006 @ 03:54 PM
This is an interesting thread and should provoke some interesting discussions. Futile treatment is a hot button topic esp. among health care types.
Just a few thoughts to kick start this.
The curse of modern medicine IMHO is that we now have the ability to prolong life well beyond the point of any meaningfull recovery. We see this alot
in the pediatric side where the brain is gone, but the body not knowing any better soilders on for some time. Esp. in our technology laden ICU's you
can keep that body going for months and even years. However, everything that made that child a special unique individual, thier laugh, thier smile,
thier very spirit is gone and you essential have an empty vessel.
Given the costs of such a modern system should the public (make no mistake this is where the money will come from be it taxes or higher premiums) be
forced to pay for such futile care? If a family decides to persue treatment to no end is it unreasonable to expect them to pay for such care? Ask
youself this question: Am I prolonging this life for the better of the person in question or for myself?
In the case cited above, I would agree that the hospital in question being responsable for causing the injury in the first place has a moral / ethical
conflict and the decision should be made elsewhere.
WHile every hospital has an ethics committe, perhaps in situations like this, a committie of qualified candidates made up of members of the general
public along with qualified medical staff chosen at random (kind of like a jury) could be presented the case and make a ruling. Family members should
also be givena voice. If the group rules that care is futile in that case, then the family would be given the option of paying for further
Most people unless they have directly dealt with a case like this has no clue about the emotional and physical pain families and the patients go