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Medical futility and the social context.
  1. R Halliday
  1. Utica College of Syracuse University, New York, USA.


    The concept of medical futility has come to be seen in some quarters as a value-neutral trump card when dealing with issues of power and conflicting values in medicine. I argue that this concept is potentially useful, but only in a social context that provides a normative framework for its use. This social context needs to include a broad consensus about the purpose of medicine and the nature of the physician-patient relationship.

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