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American Journal of Bioethics.

Futility in Chronic Anorexia Nervosa: A Concept Whose Time Has Not Yet Come

Comparatively little scholarly attention has been given to the question of futility in chronic psychiatric disorders, with the exception of a small body of work on so-called end-stage anorexia nervosa (AN). A review of this literature provides the background for a critical examination of whether the concept of futility has any clinically meaningful, ethically justifiable, and legally defensible application to AN. In this article, the arguments for and against futility judgments in AN are analyzed with special emphasis on determinations of capacity in this serious mental illness. Parallels between the futility disputes in medical and psychiatric disorders, where applicable, will be drawn to further illuminate whether or not the concept that continued psychiatric treatment for AN is ever truly futile.

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Volume 15, Issue 7
July 2015

Target Articles.

Looking for Trouble: Preventive Genomic Sequencing in the General Population and the Role of Patient Choice Gabriel Lázaro-Muñoz, John M. Conley, Arlene M. Davis, Marcia Van Riper, Rebecca L. Walker & Eric T. Juengst