Physicians' refusal of requested treatment: The case of baby L Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Ethics, Medical
  • Euthanasia, Passive


  • The literature on physicians' refusal of patients' demands is sparse. Siegler, 1 Brett and McCullough, 2 and Leikin 3 have reported on relatively uncontroversial issues in primary care, such as the denial of antibiotics for viral infections or the refusal of CAT scans for headaches that resolve with rest and aspirin. Brennan 4 has described the refusal of a full resuscitation effort for a 58-year-old chronic alcoholic with worsening end-stage hepatorenal failure. Although the do-not-resuscitate order was contrary to the family's wishes, there is substantial evidence in the literature that attempts at cardiopulmonary resuscitation in certain categories of patients are invariably futile. 5 6 7 8 9 In such. © 1990, Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • April 5, 1990



  • Academic Article



  • eng

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1056/NEJM199004053221420

PubMed ID

  • 2314445

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1012

end page

  • 5


  • 322


  • 14