What is futile and who decides? The clinician’s dilemma

Bogda Koczwara
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (4): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10743
Published online: 4 March 2013

Fictionalised case study: John’s story

John, a 63-year-old farmer, was admitted to the oncology ward for management of extensive oesophageal cancer with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He lived alone on the farm, was estranged from his wife and saw his adult children infrequently. John had a history of moderate alcohol use and his nutrition had recently declined because of the extensive cancer. A feeding tube was inserted to assist in maintaining nutrition while he was undergoing treatment.

  • Department of Medical Oncology, Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide, SA.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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