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06/02/2016

Reason-giving and Medical Futility:Contrasting Legal and Social Discourse in the United States with the United Kingdom and Ontario, Canada

I am delighted that Chest has agreed to publish “Reason-giving and Medical Futility:Contrasting Legal and Social Discourse in the United States with the United Kingdom and Ontario, Canada.”


In this forthcoming article, critical care physicians Gabe Bosslet, Mary Baker, and I describe three recent cases from different countries (the United States, United Kingdom, and Ontario, Canada) to qualitatively contrast the legal responses to disputes regarding end of life care in each of these countries.  In so doing, we define the continuum of clinical and social utility among different types dispute resolution processes, and emphasize the importance of public reason-giving in the societal discussion regarding end-of-life treatment disputes.


We argue that precedential, publicly available, written rulings for these decisions most effectively help to move the social debate forward in a way that is beneficial to clinicians, patients, and citizens.  Our paper highlights the lack of such rulings within the United States.

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