From today's PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, a nine-minute video on EOL costs. Particularly relevant to medical futility are these excerpts:
SEVERSON: The threat of lawsuits forces many doctors to practice defensive medicine, ordering more tests and procedures to protect themselves from being sued. Health care professionals here cited malpractice suits as another factor behind spiraling costs, and Medicare fraud in
SEVERSON: Dr. Weinberg says too many patients receive expensive treatments and surgery in their final years that very likely won’t prolong their life. DR. WEINBERG: So if you have an Alzheimer patient who, your own belief may be, it’s time to let this person go naturally, and the family is telling you, “I’m the surrogate, and I’m insisting that a feeding tube be put in,” you cannot make the decision not to put the feeding tube on your own, even though you think it’s futile care, at least in the state of Florida.