Ethical theories

Futile Treatment Futile Treatment Li defines futile treatment as a situation where the treatment given to a patient has little or nochances of saving the life of a patient. In essence, the treatment just prolongs the time of death that seem so obvious. In such cases, patients may suffer a lot due the aggressive treatments that may not benefit their health. Physicians are thus accorded the responsibility to advise family members on the way forward in enhancing the quality of life of the patient; either under treatment or palliative care.
Medical practitioners have an ethical duty to ensure that patient are taken care of according to an established doctrine. In this regard, practitioners are not supposed to give up on a patient unless all the treatment fails. There arises a dilemma on what to do when the patient is not responding to treatment. The ethical dilemma arises on whether to terminate treatment or allow the patient to suffer under futile treatment. Relegating treatment may be a sign of condemning the patient to death while treatment might be painful and of no importance. Thus, the most appropriate decision should be made.
Bioethics principles can be used to chart a way forward in case of a futile treatment dilemma. The principles include autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence and justice. The autonomy principle states that conscious patients have a choice to decide termination or continuity of futile treatment. The beneficence principle asserts that medical practitioners must do anything possible to alienate suffering from the patient. The non-maleficence principle explains that nurses should check all procedures to ensure that patients do not suffer from intentional errors and omissions. The justice principle asserts that patients have equal rights to benefit from treatment; new or current. From the principles, the medical practitioners can choose a course of action depending on the situation.
Li, M. (2012). Dealing with futile treatment: A medical students perspective. Australian Medical Student Journal, 3(2), 58-60.