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October 13, 1999

Medical Futility in End-of-Life Care—Reply

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(14):1331-1332. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-14-jbk1013

In Reply: We are pleased that the Houston City Wide Taskforce adopted the draft guidelines, which Drs Halevy and Brody helped develop and which we reviewed in 1995. We also are glad to have the opportunity to update the citation. We hope that similar guidelines serve as models for institutions that are still in the process of developing sound end-of-life care practices.

In response to the distinction that Halevy and Brody have made between "futile care" and "futile treatment," CEJA agrees that it is important to avoid implications that care itself could be futile and thereby withheld. Even in situations in which certain life-sustaining interventions are deemed futile, our policy would encourage full palliative care.

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