Doing What Works: A Discussion of Medical Futility Historically speech-language pathologists (SLPs) were a “fix-it”-focused rehabilitation profession. In recent years we have been drawn into decisions that are more challenging. Our profession has an increasing awareness of the complexity and subtleness required in decision making. How do other professions grapple with this complexity and in particular the concept ... Article
Article  |   April 2014
Doing What Works: A Discussion of Medical Futility
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paula Leslie
    Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Nancy Rourke
    Department of Religious Studies and Theology, Canisuis College, Buffalo, NY
  • Tamara Sacks
    Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA
    Sivitz Jewish Hospice, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Financial Disclosure: Paula Leslie is a Professor and Director of the Doctor of Clinical Science in Medical Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh. Nancy Rourke is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Catholic Studies Program at Canisius College. Tamara Sacks is a Consultant at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and the Medical Director at Sivitz Jewish Hospice.
    Financial Disclosure: Paula Leslie is a Professor and Director of the Doctor of Clinical Science in Medical Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Pittsburgh. Nancy Rourke is an Associate Professor and Coordinator of the Catholic Studies Program at Canisius College. Tamara Sacks is a Consultant at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and the Medical Director at Sivitz Jewish Hospice.×
  • Nonfinancial Disclosure: Paula Leslie has no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article. Nancy Rourke has previously published in the subject area. Tamara Sacks has no nonfinancial interests related to this article.
    Nonfinancial Disclosure: Paula Leslie has no nonfinancial interests related to the content of this article. Nancy Rourke has previously published in the subject area. Tamara Sacks has no nonfinancial interests related to this article.×
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Professional Issues & Training / Articles
Article   |   April 2014
Doing What Works: A Discussion of Medical Futility
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), April 2014, Vol. 23, 72-79. doi:10.1044/sasd23.2.72
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), April 2014, Vol. 23, 72-79. doi:10.1044/sasd23.2.72

Historically speech-language pathologists (SLPs) were a “fix-it”-focused rehabilitation profession. In recent years we have been drawn into decisions that are more challenging. Our profession has an increasing awareness of the complexity and subtleness required in decision making. How do other professions grapple with this complexity and in particular the concept of the “futility” of medical intervention? Perhaps the two of the most closely allied disciplines in this area are bioethics and medicine and I invited two colleagues to consider this topic with me. Dr. Nancy Rourke is a bioethicist with experience in Catholic and philosophical ethics, long-term care and end-of-life health care ethics. Dr. Tamara Sacks is a physician with experience in internal medicine, palliative care and hospice. We encourage the reader to step beyond the confines of the historically rehabilitation focused profession in order to gain understanding that will benefit our patients and families.

Become a SIG Affiliate
Pay Per View
Entire SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia) content & archive
24-hour access
This Issue
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access
We've Changed Our Publication Model...
The 19 individual SIG Perspectives publications have been relaunched as the new, all-in-one Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups.