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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 45

of 'Palliative care: Medically futile and potentially inappropriate therapies of questionable benefit'

45
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Resolution of futility by due process: early experience with the Texas Advance Directives Act.
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Fine RL, Mayo TW
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Ann Intern Med. 2003;138(9):743.
 
Every U.S. state has developed legal rules to address end-of-life decision making. No law to date has effectively dealt with medical futility--an issue that has engendered significant debate in the medical and legal literature, many court cases, and a formal opinion from the American Medical Association's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs. In 1999, Texas was the first state to adopt a law regulating end-of-life decisions, providing a legislatively sanctioned, extrajudicial, due process mechanism for resolving medical futility disputes and other end-of-life ethical disagreements. After 2 years of practical experience with this law, data collected at a large tertiary care teaching hospital strongly suggest that the law represents a first step toward practical resolution of this controversial area of modern health care. As such, the law may be of interest to practitioners, patients, and legislators elsewhere.
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Baylor Health Care System and Southern Methodist University/Dedman School of Law, 3434 Swiss Avenue, Suite 330, Dallas, Texas 75204, USA. robertf@baylorhealth.edu
PMID