Autonomy versus futility? Barriers to good clinical practice in end-of-life care : a Queensland case
White, Benjamin P.
Keywords110310 Intensive Care
180119 Law and Society
End of life decision-making
Withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment
Adult guardianship law
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AbstractFindings from a Queensland coronial inquest highlight the complex clinical, ethical and legal issues that arise in end-of-life care when clinicians and family members disagree about a diagnosis of clinical futility. The tension between the law and best medical practice is highlighted in this case, as doctors are compelled to seek family consent to not commence a futile intervention. Good communication between doctors and families, as well as community and professional education, is essential to resolve tensions that can arise when there is disagreement about treatment at the end of life.