Bioethics Blogs

Parliamentary Committee Recommends Protection for Physicians Withdrawing Futile Treatment

The Parliament of Victoria Legal and Social Issues Committee recently released a 350-page report, “Inquiry into End of Life Choices.”  It is heavily focused on palliative care, advance care planning, and assisted dying.  

Recommendation 29 caught my attention.  It recommends: “The Victorian Government legislate to enact the protection doctors currently have under the common law regarding withholding or withdrawing futile treatment.”

The Report notes that physicians in Victoria are already are protected from obligations to administer futile treatment.  They have unilateral decision making power to determine treatment is futile.  But they are still uncertain about their legal obligations.  Therefore, there is benefit in clarifying these rights and duties in legislation.

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.