Medical treatment is rarely useless in an absolute sense. It is often beneficial and harmful to an extent. This is why withdrawing treatment is a difficult issue. If treatment is entirely futile, then there would not be a painful debate regarding weather treatment should be stopped. This paper explores the complicated issues of withdrawing treatment in the care of terminally ill patients.
This paper argues for a shift of concept regarding terminally ill patients. For terminally ill patients, 'cure' or 'medical treatment' in its general medical sense is actually no longer possible in medical practice. Therefore, the real issue involved here is not whether we should give up treatment. It is rather whether we should give up the concept of cure. This paper contends that, for terminally ill patients, since the concept of cure traditionally used is not meaningful to the patients, it should be replaced by the concept of care. In caring the terminally ill patients, the quality of life and the interest of public should be taken into account. We should not violate the patient's dignity or hurt the patient's character by offering aggressove.