[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 1, 1996

Preferences for CPR and Life-Sustaining Treatment Among Nursing Home Residents-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Camden, NJ

JAMA. 1996;275(17):1310. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530410023014

In Reply.  —We heartily agree that there is a dire need to achieve societal consensus as to the definition of medical futility. In particular, society has to come to terms with the limits of medicine and must grapple with the question as to whether it is reasonable to offer CPR as a viable treatment option to all individuals regardless of likely health outcome.Our research question was not directed toward addressing these issues, but rather was within the context of current standards as set forth in the Patient Self-determination Act,2 that individuals have the fundamental right to accept or forgo life-sustaining treatment. We also would like to reemphasize that our study methods attempted to portray the treatment information in a neutral and unbiased fashion that complies with the spirit of the current standards.From the study by Murphy et al1 it is clear that physicians have the power to dramatically