Table 1

Summary of opinions about conditions for futile measures (n=43)

YearRef(A1) Who decides:(A2) What measure:(A3) What goal:(A4) What probability:
a–f = slightly different statements about conditions in the same article.
(A1) The person or persons to decide (family includes proxy).
(A2) Diagnostic, therapeutic and/or nursing measure.
(A3) The relevant goal (QoL = quality of life).
(A4) Type of probability or miscellaneous.
1987 18 PhysicianTherapeuticQoL (benefit to the patient)Semiquantitative
1988 11 TeamTherapeuticQoL (recovering)Semiquantitative
1988 13a PhysicianTherapeuticQoL (medical benefit)Semiquantitative
1988 b Physician+patientTherapeuticQoL
1989 6 PhysicianTherapeuticPatient's goal
1990 1 PhysicianTherapeuticQoLQuantitative
1990 14 Physician+familyTherapeuticQoL (medical benefit)Semiquantitative
1991 19a PhysicianTherapeuticPatient's goal
1991 b PhysicianDiagnostic+Therapeutic
1992 12 Guidelines (JAMA)TherapeuticPhysiological+life-prolongingAlready attempted
1992 19* TherapeuticSemiquantitative
1992 46 PhysicianTherapeuticQoLSemiquantitative
1992 47 PhysicianTherapeuticPhysiologicalSemiquantitative
1993 23 PhysicianTherapeuticPhysiological+QoLSemiquantitative
1993 30 TeamTherapeuticQoLQuantitative
1993 32 PhysicianTherapeuticLifeprolongingSemiquantitative
1993 22a PhysicianTherapeuticPhysiologicalSemiquantitative
1993bPhysicianTherapeuticPatient's/family's goalSemiquantitative
1994 24 PhysicianTherapeuticQoL (benefit)Semiquantitative
1994 25 PhysicianTherapeuticQoL (benefit)Semiquantitative
1994 34 PhysicianTherapeuticQoLSemiquantitative
1994 9 Publ conducted evalTherapeutic
1995 17 TherapeuticQoL (recovery, benefit)Semiquantitative
1995 21 TeamTherapeuticQoL (benefit)
1995 2 PhysicianTherapeuticPhysiological+QoL (beneficial)Semiquantitative+not validated
1995 3 Physician+patientTherapeuticQoL (relative benefit and burden)Possible to balance
1995 15 PhysicianTherapeuticLife-prolongingSemiquantitative
1995 26 PhysicianTherapeuticQoL (benefit)Semiquantitative
1995 37a TherapeuticQoL (benefit)Semiquantitative
1995bTherapeuticQoL (benefit or independence)
1995cTeamTherapeuticSemiquantitative
1995dTherapeuticQoL (consciousness or independence)Quantitative
1995 28 PhysicianTherapeuticLife-prolonging+QoLSemiquantitative
1996 4 Physician+patientTherapeuticQoL (benefit)Semiquantitative
1996 27 PhysicianTherapeuticQoL (clinical benefit)Quantitative
1996 31 PhysicianTherapeuticQoL (benefit)Semiquantitative
1996 33 PhysicianTherapeuticLife-prolongingSemiquantitative
1997 39
1997 5 PhysicianTherapeuticLife-prolonging+QoLSemiquantitative
1997 35 PhysicianTherapeuticLife-prolonging+QoLSemiquantitative
1997 36 PhysicianTherapeuticCost+life-prolonging+QoLSemiquantitative
1997 38 PhysicianTherapeuticLife-prolonging+patient's goal+QoLSemiquantitative
1997 10 PhysicianTherapeuticLife-prolonging+QoL
1997 40 PhysicianTherapeuticPatient's/family's goal
1998 43 TherapeuticPhysiological+QoL (medical benefit)
1998 29 PhysicianTherapeuticQoLSemiquantitative
1998 45 PhysicianTherapeuticLife-prolonging+QoLSemiquantitative
1999 44 PhysicianTherapeuticLife-prolonging+QoLSemiquantitative
1999 42 FamilyAll measuresQoL
2000 41 PhysicianTherapeuticQoL (medical benefits)Scientific evidence