Many believe that giving up treatment always conflicts with physicians' duty and responsibility. However, although societies have achieved the rapid advancing of medical sciences and technologies, and although patients and families sometimes want to maintain life-sustaining interventions at any cost, renunciation of futile treatment remains an unavoidable issue facing physicians in their clinical practice. This is especially the case for Chinese society today. This paper argues that withdrawing life-sustaining therapy is not always opposite to moral requirement.
Specifically, the paper explores the following important issues around the decision making of renouncing treatment. First, in what medical situation does the patient and the family's request for withdrawing treatment should be granted by the physician? this paper contents that a necessary condition must be that the patient suffers an incurable disease. Second, who has the right to make the decision of renouncing treatment? This paper argues that, in considerations of Chinese ethical and societal character, some practical measures should be establishes in Chinese society medical and moral consideration should all be balanced and integrated. Finally, in order to avoid unnecessary ambiguities and disputes, this paper suggests that legal and administrative procedures and guidelines should be adopted regarding the decision of renouncing treatment.