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ETHICS IN MEDICINE   University of Washington School of Medicine

Futility:
Case 3

An elderly man who lives in a nursing home is admitted to the medical ward with pneumonia. He is awake but severely demented. He can only mumble, but interacts and acknowledges family members. The admitting resident says that treating his pneumonia with antibiotics would be "futile" and suggests approaching the family with this stance.

Do you agree?

Discussion

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