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ETHICS IN MEDICINE   University of Washington School of Medicine

Futility:
Case 2

An elderly patient with irreversible respiratory disease is in the intensive care unit where repeated efforts to wean him from ventilator support have been unsuccessful. There is general agreement among the health care team that he could not survive outside of an intensive care setting. The patient has requested antibiotics should he develop an infection and CPR if he has a cardiac arrest.

Should a distinction be made between the interventions requested by the patient?  Should the patient’s age be a factor?

Discussion

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