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Medical Idleness vs. Medical Futility

A new article in an Iranian bioethics journal analyzes medical futility using the Quaranic concept of “idle.” 

Given the long struggle with the concept and terms in English, it is useful to see this examined in another language and culture.  For example, I have always liked the European “therapeutic obstinacy.”

With respect to “idle” in English, most definitions refer to “not working, doing nothing, no basis or reason, meaningless, senseless.”  This corresponds to the narrow of meaning of “futile” recommended by the 2015 multi-society policy statement.  

That leaves the more common and value laden situations (when the treatment at issue does at least “something”) to be captured by the multi-society statement’s term “potentially inappropriate.”

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

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