Bioethics Blogs

Resolving Intractable Medical Futility Disputes in Virginia

Over six years ago, I analyzed how an intractable futility dispute might be resolved under Virginia law. Earlier this month, I explained that Virginia is considering legislation to strengthen the governing law.

Today, the bill’s author explains his objective.  “Del. Chris Stolle, a Virginia Beach Republican who is a doctor, was approached by other doctors to clarify state law to say a physician has the right to stop care that’s medically and ethically inappropriate over the objections of the patient, family or advocate after a 14-day period of trying to transfer the patient to a doctor or hospital who will provide such care.”

“Currently, the law says a doctor must try to find other care during that period but leaves hanging what can be done once the time comes to a close.”  Stolle explained: “There needs to be some closing of the loophole.”

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.