Bioethics Blogs

Physicians, Not Families, Responsible for Most Futile Treatment

Vasco Moscovici de Cruz and colleagues in Brazil have confirmed, yet again, that physicians, not surrogates, are responsible for the vast majority of futile treatments.

“Family pressure as a reason for the initiation of futile life support measures was the exception. Most cases were traceable to the conduct of the attending physicians who failed to consider prognosis and allowed life support measures to be added in an automatic fashion as organic failures mounted.”


See “Factors Associated with Futile End-of-Life Intensive Care in a Cancer Hospital” in the American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Medicine.

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.