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Author Archive: Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

About Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

The Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at the University of Western Australia has a new exhibition – The Long Kiss Goodbye – opening on February 8, 2020.

The exhibition explores the ways in which art can be a strategy for addressing and reflecting on intense and difficult feelings like loss. UWA Chief Cultural Officer Professor Ted Snell said the exhibition is an excellent example of art’s power and potency to think through complex and difficult topics.


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Georgetown University is celebrating the 100th birthday of Edmund Pellegrino with a two-day conference. 

The John Collins Harvey Lecture and dinner is on the evening of Thursday, March 5, 2020. The all-day Centennial Pellegrino Seminar is on Friday, March 6, 2020. Registration is free.

The conference will take a fresh look at Pellegrino’s work in the philosophy of medicine, with one eye looking back to his original body of work and another eye looking forward to how his writing might inform contemporary conversations regarding the philosophy of medicine.

Pellegrino was one of the earliest writers in the modern era of the philosophy of medicine and the founding editor the Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. He wrote about topics such as the nature of the patient-physician relationship, the process of clinical reasoning, the goals of medicine, the relationship of medicine to society, team-based medical care, and the relationship between the philosophy of medicine and medical ethics. Several anthologies have collected his works, but these have concentrated on his medical ethics rather than his philosophy of medicine. Moreover, few have engaged his work in the philosophy of medicine critically or examined its place as the field has grown since he first began to explore these topics in the 1960s. 



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The Annual Bioethics Conference at Harvard Medical School is world class programming for only $50.  This year's program, on March 9-10 2020, will explore: 1. The potential of biotechnology to drive and shape the future of clinical care ...

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West Virginia is considering legislation titled the "Nondiscrimination in Involuntary Denial of Treatment Act."  In essence, H.B. 2227 provides: "If a patient, the terms of a patient's advance directive, or a person legally authorized to make he...

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I am delighted that "Determination of Death by Neurologic Criteria in the United States: The Case for Revising the Uniform Determination of Death Act" is now available in the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. Since 1981, the Unifor...

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Like others, I have lamented (and here) the abject failure of the federal Patient Self Determination Act. Over the past thirty years, it has done little to improve the quantity or quality of advance care planning. Seeking to fill this gap, New Jersey...

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Iowa Senator Mike Lee recently introduced the Parental Accessibility Rights for Emergency and Negligent Treatment (PARENT) Act and the Parental Right to Know Act, a pair of bills designed to ensure that parents have access to the policies regarding the care and medical records of their children from hospitals and organizations that use taxpayer funding.

“Parents play the most important role in caring for the health of their children,” Sen. Lee said in a press release. “It is critical that they have information about the policies of the health organizations to which they bring their children for care, and that they have the ability to access their medical records. These bills would ensure that parents are afforded the right to remain informed and involved in their children’s care.”

Current law lacks transparency about parental rights regarding both the suspension of care and access to medical records from institutions that use CHIP or Medicaid funds. The result has been that some children have stopped receiving care without the consent of their parents, even resulting in death in some cases; and that parents have also been denied access to their children’s medical records in some cases.

The PARENT Act would require any hospital, clinic, or healthcare facility that receives Medicaid or CHIP funds to include information on their website and in print, upon request by the patient or parent, on the following: policies related to the provision, withdrawal, or denial of life-sustaining procedures, nutrition, or medication; policies related to parental consent of these services; and policies related to the required notification of parents and parental consent for a “do-not-resuscitate” order.

The Parental Right to Know Act would require any hospital, clinic, or healthcare facility that receives Medicaid or CHIP funds to include the information on parental access to medical records of minors under the age of 18 on their website and in print, upon request of the patient or parent.


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Yet another brain death dispute between parents and clinicians heads to court next week. Clinicians at St. Mary's Hospital in Manchester determined that 4-month-old Midrar Ali is dead. But his parents contest that determination and want organ-sust...

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I am delighted to be the 2020 John and Marsha Ryan Bioethicist in Residence at the Southern Illinois University School of Law and School of Medicine. Join me at the law school on February 26 for "Medical Aid in Dying: Assessing the Illinois Patient Choices at End of Life Act."

Nearly 110,000 Illinoisans die every year. Many of these patients want control over the timing and manner of their death. Indeed, terminally ill patients in Illinois already have and use several legal “exit options.” But they generally do not have access to medical aid in dying (MAID). This may soon change. Across the country, access to MAID has been in a rapid state of flux. Ten years ago, MAID was available in only two U.S. jurisdictions. Today, it is available in ten. This presentation reviews the history, status, and prevalence of MAID in the United States. It also summarizes new points of ethical debate over whether traditional eligibility requirements and safeguards are too permissive or too restrictive.



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When I made this Clinical Ethics Grand Rounds presentation (and here), just a few months ago, at the University of Kentucky, the state had never considered MAID legislation. That has now changed. Representative Mary Lou Marzian h...

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