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Idaho Senate Passes Anti-Medical Futility Bill

Posted Mar 21 2012 12:16am
Idaho S.B. 1348 (Sen. Nuxoll), about which  I blogged  earlier this month,  passed a vote  on the floor of the Senate and has now headed over to the House.  The bill voted on yesterday was amended somewhat from the original version.  It now requires that:  “Health care . . . may not be withdrawn or denied if its provision is directed by a competent patient . . . , by a patient's health care directive . . ., or by a patient's surrogated decision maker . . ., unless such care would be futile care . . . .”  Assisted feeding or artificial nutrition are not even subject to the “futile care” exception.

“Futile care” is narrowly defined (almost as physiologic futility) as “a course of treatment: (a) For a patient with a terminal condition, for whom, in reasonable medical judgment, death is imminent within hours or at most a few days whether or not the medical treatment is provided and that in reasonable medical judgment will not improve the patient's condition; or (b) The denial of which in reasonable medical judgment will not result in or hasten the patient's death.”

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