Resuscitation attempts in asystolic patients: The legal tail wagging the dog?

Frederick Levy, Gabor Kelen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


In today's litigious society, legal worries can cause Emergency practitioners to alter their delivery of clinical care. One clinical scenario in which this particularly true is in resuscitation of the so called "medically futile" patient. Patients who arrive to the Emergency Department in prolonged asystole have a uniformly dismal prognosis at best. Yet, many Emergency Physicians often continue resuscitative efforts for fear of being sued. These fears are largely unjustified. This article attempts to analyze the factors and elements involved in support of the assertion that the risk of a lawsuit is negligible at best.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-226
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Asystole
  • Futility
  • Malpractice
  • Negligence
  • Resuscitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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