Medicine Grand Rounds January 26, 2022 | 12:15 - 1:15 pm CST | Zoom

Requests for Futile and Potentially Inappropriate Treatment

Headshot of Jennifer Needle
Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH
Headshot of Jaime Konerman-Sease
Jaime Konerman-Sease, PhD
Headshot of Joel Wu
Joel Wu, JD, MPH, MA, HEC-C


Learning Objectives:

  1. Restate the proposal of 5 critical care societies for defining and responding to requests for “futile” or “potentially inappropriate treatment”;
  2. Explain ethical considerations for making clinical decisions without patient/surrogate consent or over objections at the end of life;
  3. Describe the role of ethics consultation for clinical decision making during intractable conflicts at the end-of-life.

This talk was delivered for the University of Minnesota Twin Cities' Medical Grand Rounds.


Jennifer Needle, MD, MPH, is an Associate professor of pediatrics and bioethics at Masonic Children's Hospital and the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Needle attended medical school at Howard University and did her Internal Medicine/Pediatrics residency and Pediatric Critical Care fellowship at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. She is the Associate Division Chief in Pediatric Critical Care and the Co-Chair of the UMMC Ethics Committee and Consult Service as well as Co-Lead of the MHealth Fairview System Ethics program.  Her academic work focuses on pediatric end-of-life care, specifically reducing health disparities in pediatric palliative care.

Jaime Konerman-Sease, PhD, is a Clinical Ethics Adjunct Professor at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota. She is completing her PhD in Health Care Ethics and Theology at Saint Louis University. She serves as a member of the UMMC Ethics Committee and is an ethics consultant for M Health Fairview System Ethics program. Her academic work focuses on medicine and literature, disability bioethics, and religious bioethics. 

Joel Wu, JD, MPH, MA, HEC-C, is a Clinical Ethics Adjunct Professor at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota, and a Senior Lecturer in the Division of Health Policy and Management at the U of M School of Public Health. Mr. Wu received an MPH in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota, and an MA in Bioethics and JD from Case Western Reserve University. He completed a fellowship in Bioethics and Professionalism at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN, and a fellowship in Clinical ethics at Children's MN and Abbott Northwestern Hospitals in Minneapolis. He also holds the HEC-C (Healthcare Ethics Consultant-Certified) certification. Along with Dr. Needle, he co-chairs the UMMC ethics committee and consult service, and co-leads the MHealth Fairview system ethics program. His academic works focuses on narrative ethics and public health ethics.