Blog RSSBlog.


Health Care Decisions and the "F" Word: Counseling Clients about Medical Futility

Health Care Decisions and the “F” Word: Counseling Clients about Medical Futility

Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Format: Live Webinar
Duration: 90 minutes
Register here

The American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, Senior Lawyers Division and Center for Professional Development
1:00 PM-2:30 PM Eastern
12:00 PM-1:30 PM Central
11:00 AM-12:30 PM Mountain
10:00 AM-11:30 AM Pacific

Program Description

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.”  


  • 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. 

Program 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

This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.