In this issue of the MJA, we are launching a new occasional series of articles discussing current controversies and challenges in medical ethics. This first trio of articles addresses the provision of apparently futile treatment at the end of life. Koczwara, a medical oncologist, describes a difficult, but unfortunately all-too-common, case involving conflict between health professionals and family members about the appropriateness of life-prolonging treatment. Complementary clinical, ethical and legal perspectives follow.
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