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Ethics Grand Rounds – Scarborough Health Network

March 26 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Presenter:  Jeremy Butler, Clinical and Organizational Ethics Fellow, Centre for Clinical Ethics

Presentation Title:  Responding to Requests for Futile and non-Beficial Treatment

Patients, families, and substitute decision-makers often request treatments that healthcare providers think are non-beneficial or inappropriate in the circumstances. Sometimes clinicians believe the requested treatments to be futile, sometimes the treatments are untested or unproven, and sometimes the requests are for so-called alternative therapies. Although we often shouldn’t (or can’t) provide these treatments, the way we respond to the requests can have consequences for our relationships with patients and families. This presentation explores the ethical issues involved in responding to requests for non-beneficial treatments.

 Learning Objectives:

Participants in this session will learn how to:

  1. Distinguish between different categories of non-beneficial treatment.
  2. Describe how value judgments can influence judgments about non-beneficial treatments.
  3. Deploy a variety of strategies for dealing with requests for non-beneficial treatments.


March 26
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Centre for Clinical Ethics


Scarborough Health Network – To be advised