Futility and the law: Knowledge, practice and attitudes of doctors in end of life care

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, Close, Eliana, Gallois, Cindy, Parker, Malcolm, Graves, Nicholas, Winch, Sarah, Callaway, Leonie, & Shepherd, Nicole (2016) Futility and the law: Knowledge, practice and attitudes of doctors in end of life care. QUT Law Review, 16(1), pp. 54-75.

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Abstract

Despite the potential harm to patients (and others) and the financial cost of providing futile treatment at the end of life, this practice occurs. This article reports on empirical research undertaken in Queensland that explores doctors’ perceptions about the law that governs futile treatment at the end of life, and the role it plays in medical practice. The findings reveal that doctors have poor knowledge of their legal obligations and powers when making decisions about withholding or withdrawing futile treatment at the end of life; their attitudes towards the law were largely negative; and the law affected their clinical practice and had or would cause them to provide futile treatment.

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ID Code: 95428
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Medical law, Health law, Withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment, Futile treatment, Futility, Doctors' knowledge of law, Doctors attitudes to law
DOI: 10.5204/qutlr.v16i1.622
ISSN: 2201-7275
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Law and Society (180119)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES (220000) > APPLIED ETHICS (220100) > Medical Ethics (220106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Law
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Funding:
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 The Authors
Deposited On: 08 May 2016 23:08
Last Modified: 09 May 2016 21:55

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