Ned Cassem died earlier this month. Back in 1973, he set up the Massachusetts General Hospital Optimum Care Committee, one of the first ethics consultation committees in North America. He led the committee for 34 years.
Today the committee invites consults on cases such as:
- “A patient is approaching end of life, and the family does not seem to understand this. Usual measures of trying to assist the family have failed.”
- “A patient has had a procedure, and does not seem to be recovering. As a clinician, you believe that all signs point to end of life. Others on the team do not agree with you/others. Usual measures of team discussion are not working.”