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Author Archive: Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

About Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

Compassion & Choices has released its 2018-2019 annual report.  

Here are a few excerpts: 

  • Compassion & Choices realized transformational progress in 2018-2019. We passed medical aid in dying in New Jersey, cheered a second victory in Maine and advanced legislation in dozens more states."
  • "We took on the reality that current medical aid-in-dying laws are in fact too restrictive — placing too many needless hurdles in front of eligible, profoundly anguished patients."
  • "We expanded efforts to address disparities in end-of-life care within communities of color, promoting the awareness and tools necessary for more of their members to seize their own empowerment."
  • "At a time of profound division in our country, we are heartened that the universal idea of patients having a voice in their own care is a value everyone can agree on."

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In 1993, Robert Latimer killed his severely disabled daughter, Tracy,  by pumping exhaust fumes into the cab of his truck. He was subsequently sentenced to life in prison, and paroled in 2010. In a recent challenge to his sentence, Latimer a...

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Join me next Friday morning for this CLE program "Advance Health Care Directives: Drafting and Dispute Resolution Strategies."

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Join me next Friday morning for this CLE program "Advance Health Care Directives: Drafting and Dispute Resolution Strategies."

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This week, New Zealand MPs voted 69-51 to approve David Seymour's End of Life Choice bill, sending the issue to a public referendum next year. End of Life Choice Bill - Third Reading - Video 1 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

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This week, New Zealand MPs voted 69-51 to approve David Seymour's End of Life Choice bill, sending the issue to a public referendum next year. End of Life Choice Bill - Third Reading - Video 1 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

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This week, New Zealand MPs voted 69-51 to approve David Seymour's End of Life Choice bill, sending the issue to a public referendum next year. End of Life Choice Bill - Third Reading - Video 1 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

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This week, New Zealand MPs voted 69-51 to approve David Seymour's End of Life Choice bill, sending the issue to a public referendum next year. End of Life Choice Bill - Third Reading - Video 1 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

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This week, New Zealand MPs voted 69-51 to approve David Seymour's End of Life Choice bill, sending the issue to a public referendum next year. End of Life Choice Bill - Third Reading - Video 1 from New Zealand Parliament on Vimeo.

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In this famous scene from Sesame Street, the characters explain to Big Bird that "when people die, they don't come back." This seems simple enough.

Nevertheless, people commonly refer to cardiac arrest as "death." This is wrong. Death requires more than the cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions. It requires the "irreversible" cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions.

This common error was recently colorfully illustrated by Benjamin Schreiber, an Iowa inmate. Schreiber claimed that he served his "life" sentence when he "died" during surgery. He asserts that he “died” on March 30, 2015 and as a result of such “death” he has now served the life sentence and should be released from custody.

Both the District Court and the Iowa Court of Appeals rightly denied the claim. "Schreiber is either alive, in which case he must remain in prison, or he is dead, in which case this appeal is moot."

On the other hand, Screiber was resuscitated despite his DNR order. He may have a civil claim for damages against the hospital and its clinicians.


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