Futility and the Law: Knowledge, practice and attitudes of doctors in end of life care

Willmott, Lindy, White, Ben, Close, Eliana, Gallois, Cindy, Parker, Malcolm, Graves, Nicholas, Winch, Sarah, Calloway, Leonie and Shepherd, Nicole (2016) Futility and the Law: Knowledge, practice and attitudes of doctors in end of life care. QUT Law Review, 16 1: 54-75. doi:10.5204/qutlr.v16i1.622


Author Willmott, Lindy
White, Ben
Close, Eliana
Gallois, Cindy
Parker, Malcolm
Graves, Nicholas
Winch, Sarah
Calloway, Leonie
Shepherd, Nicole
Title Futility and the Law: Knowledge, practice and attitudes of doctors in end of life care
Journal name QUT Law Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 2201-7275
Publication date 2016-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.5204/qutlr.v16i1.622
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 16
Issue 1
Start page 54
End page 75
Total pages 22
Place of publication Brisbane QLD Australia
Publisher Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Law
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Abstract Despite the potential harm to patients (and others) and the financial cost of providing futile treatment at the end of life, this practice occurs. This article reports on empirical research undertaken in Queensland that explores doctors’ perceptions about the law that governs futile treatment at the end of life, and the role it plays in medical practice. The findings reveal that doctors have poor knowledge of their legal obligations and powers when making decisions about withholding or withdrawing futile treatment at the end of life; their attitudes towards the law were largely negative; and the law affected their clinical practice and had or would cause them to provide futile treatment.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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Created: Fri, 01 Jul 2016, 14:52:02 EST by Dr Malcolm Parker on behalf of School of Medicine