Review of Lawrence J. Schneiderman and Nancy S. Jecker, Wrong Medicine: Doctors, Patients, and Futile Treatment
Thaddeus Mason Pope
Hamline University - School of Law; Queensland University of Technology - Australian Health Law Research Center; Saint Georges University; Alden March Bioethics Institute
January 1, 2012
American Journal of Bioethics, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp. 49-51, 2012
When may physicians refuse to provide medical interventions that might prolong the patient’s life? When should they refuse? When must they? Such questions of medical futility remain as much a subject of debate today as in 1995 when the first edition of Wrong Medicine: Doctors, Patients, and Futile Treatment was published. Therefore, it is altogether fitting that Larry Schneiderman (a physician) and Nancy Jecker (a philosopher) have published a second edition of their widely influential book.
Schneiderman and Jecker want to foster critical discussion both in the medical profession and in society at large about the goals of medicine and the nature of the physician-patient relationship at the end of life. This materially updated and revised second edition will prompt and richly inform such critical discussion.
This review includes definitions of medical futility, a snapshot of the structure and organization of the book, and the major criticism (undefended assumptions) and minor criticism (legal errors).
Keywords: review, wrong medicine, Schneiderman, Jecker, death, dying, end-of-life, medical futility, CPR, Uniform Healthcare Decisions Act, UHCDA
JEL Classification: K32
Date posted: February 27, 2012