Health Care Decision-Making and the “F” Word—Futility

Vol. 35 Issue: 3

(Note: The pdf for the issue in which this article appears is available for download: BIFOCAL Vol. 35, Issue 3.)

Health Care Decision-Making and the “F” Word—Futility

Counseling clients about medical futility in health care decision-making  

  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014
  • 1:00 – 2:30 Eastern time

Register Now!

Recent cases involving brain dead patients and resulting disputes over continuing organ-sustaining treatments have reignited debate over the appropriate use of medical technologies. The family of Jahi McMath in Oakland, CA, fought to keep their daughter connected to a ventilator, while a hospital in Fort Worth, TX, sought to keep Marlise Muñoz, fourteen weeks pregnant, on a ventilator over the objection of her husband and family. For terminally ill patients who are not brain dead, a family's desire to "do everything possible" sometimes leads to insisting on medical interventions that medical professionals may deem inappropriate or "futile."  

This program will:

  • Provide you with an understanding of the range of policy and practice issues concerning medical futility
  • Enable you to be accurate and supportive in counseling clients on these issues in the context of advance planning
  • Enable you to be more effective in counseling and dispute resolution when conflicts arise in end-of-life decision-making concerning the limits of care

The focus is not on litigation.  

Faculty:

  • Robert L. Fine, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, Clinical Director, Office of Clinical Ethics and Palliative Care, Baylor Health Care System, Dallas, TX
  • Bernard "Bud" Hammes, Ph.D, Director of Medical Humanities, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation, La Crosse, WI
  • Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD, Director, Health Law Institute & Associate Professor of Law, Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, MN
  • Charles P. Sabatino, JD (Moderator), Director, ABA Commission on Law and Aging, Washington, DC

And, coming this summer, a webinar from the Commission focusing on timing and other issues in Social Security retirement. To be notified when more details are available, please contact Andrea.Amato@americanbar.org.

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Bifocal, the Commission on Law and Aging's bi-monthly journal, provides timely, valuable legal resources pertaining to older persons, generated through the joint efforts of public and private bar groups and the aging network.

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Bifocal invites the submission of news about your elder bar section’s activities, as well as brief articles of interest to elder law and other professionals in the aging advocacy network.

    Share news about your entity’s initiatives towards the delivery of direct legal assistance to older persons in your particular area; pro bono and reduced fee programs; community legal education programs; multi-disciplinary partnerships; and new resources that are helpful to professionals and consumers.

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