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Wrong Medicine Doctors, Patients, and Futile Treatment

Posted Apr 27 2011 7:24am
Larry Schneiderman and Nancy Jecker have published the second edition (ISBN 9780801863721) of their popular 1995 Wrong Medicine.  The 2010 edition has clearly been updated, as I was pleased to see myself cited.  I just got a copy on Monday.  And while the book is only 216 pages, I have not yet had a chance to read it.  Here is a description from the publisher, Johns Hopkins University Press:
The authors examine the ethics of cases in which medical treatment is offered—or mandated—even if a patient lacks the capacity to appreciate its benefit or if the treatment will still leave a patient totally dependent on intensive medical care.

In exploring these timely issues Schneiderman and Jecker reexamine the doctor-patient relationship and call for a restoration of common sense and reality to what we expect from medicine. They discuss economic, historical, and demographic factors that affect medical care and offer clear definitions of what constitutes futile medical treatment. And they address such topics as the limits on unwanted treatment, the shift from the "Age of Physician Paternalism" to the "Age of Patient Autonomy," health care rationing, and the adoption of new ethical standards.
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