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Author Archive: Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

About Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

04/25/2017

Reforming Advanced Illness and End-of-Life Care: The Way Forward

The spring 2017 issue of the American Society on Aging's flagship journal  GENERATIONS includes over 100 pages on "Reforming Advanced Illness and End-of-Life Care: The Way Forward."

Closing the Care Gap
Bill Novelli and Raca Banerjee

Understanding Cultural Gaps and Disparities in Advanced Illness Care
Marian Grant

Building the Road Ahead: Reflections on the C-TAC National Summits
Jon Broyles

Supporting the Patient Voice: Building the Foundation of Shared Decision-Making
Patricia Bomba

Advance Care Planning: Ensuring Patients’ Preferences Govern the Care They Receive
Brad Stuart, Angelo Volandes, and Benjamin W. Moulton

Aid in Dying: A Consideration of Two Perspectives
Bill Novelli and Raca Banerjee

Medical Aid in Dying: The Cornerstone of Patient-Centered Care
Barbara Coombs Lee and David Grube

Death by Lethal Prescription: A Right for Older People—or Their Duty?
Burke Balch

My Life, My Story: A Personal Experience with the Right Care, at the Right Time
Amy Berman

Caregiving at the End of Life: The Challenges for Family Caregivers
Barbara A. Given and Susan C. Reinhard

Lessons from the Hospice Benefit for Advanced Illness Care
Perry G. Fine and Malene S. Davis

A Prescription for Population-Based Palliative Care Education
Jason A. Webb and David Casarett

The Changing Landscape of Palliative Care
Diane E. Meier and Brynn Bowman

Hope for Persons with Dementia: Why Comfort Matters
Tena Alonzo

Next-Generation Quality Measurement to Support Improvement in Advanced
Illness and End-of-Life Care 
Helen Burstin and Karen Johnson

Policy and Politics to Drive Change in End-of-Life Care: Assessing the Best and Worst Places to Die in America
Andrew L. MacPherson and Ravi B. Parikh

Patient Preferences, Policy, and POLST
Judy Thomas and Charles Sabatino

Advanced Illness Care: Driving the Movement Forward
Bill Novelli and Raca Banerjee

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04/24/2017

DC Court Allows Guardian to Withdraw Life Support WITHOUT Evidence of Patient Wishes

D.C. Superior Court Judge Russell Canan The Superior Court of the District of Columbia has issued an innovative order in an end-of-life treatment conflict. In June 2014, YP suffered cardiac arrest following a drug overdose.  Clinicians la...

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04/23/2017

Texas Considers Opt-Out Organ Donation Nudge

In the United States nobody is an organ donor unless they or their surrogate make an affirmative decision choosing donation.  But a new Texas bill proposes to flip that, making Texas citizens donors by default unless they opt out. Employing incre...

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04/22/2017

Minnesota End of Life Options Discussion Panel

Join us this Thursday at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul for an End of Life Options Discussion Panel. See these two bills in the 90th Minnesota legislature: HF 1885 and SF 1572.

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04/22/2017

"Surprise Question" Performs Poorly to Predict Death

New research in the CMAJ shows that the commonly used "surprise question" does not work well.

The surprise question is intended to be a simple and feasible screening test to identify patients with hospice and palliative care needs.  It involves a clinician reflecting on the question, “Would I be surprised if this patient died in the next 12 months?”

But the surprise question performs poorly to modestly when used to predict death at 6 to 18  months, with even poorer performance among patients with non-cancer illness. The authors conclude that the surprise question should not be used as a stand-alone prognostic tool.

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04/21/2017

Advance Care Planning Panel & Counseling Event – Roseville, MN

Join me and Mitchell Hamline health law students.  

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04/21/2017

Into the Gray Zone: A Neuroscientist Explores the Border Between Life and Death

Coming soon from Scribner is Adrian Owen's new book Into the Gray Zone. The book reviews Owen's work exploring the “gray zone” between full consciousness and brain death. 

People in this "middle place" have sustained traumatic brain injuries or are the victims of stroke or degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Many are oblivious to the outside world, and their doctors believe they are incapable of thought. But a sizeable number are experiencing something different: intact minds adrift deep within damaged brains and bodies. 

Into the Gray Zone asks some tough and terrifying questions, such as: 

  • What is life like for these patients? 
  • What can their families and friends do to help them? 
  • What are the ethical implications for religious organizations, politicians, the Right to Die movement, and even insurers? 
  • In defining what a life worth living is, are we too concerned with the physical and not giving enough emphasis to the power of thought? 
  • What, truly, defines a satisfying life?


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04/20/2017

New Cochrane Review of Patient Decision Aids

There is now yet another new Cochrane review of the evidence on patient decision aids.  Here are the conclusions: When people use decision aids, they improve their knowledge of the options (high-quality evidence) and feel better informed and more...

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04/19/2017

Donald Harvey, Angels of Death, and Medical Futility

Donald Harvey died this week in prison.  Called the "Angel of Death," the healthcare worker killed dozens of hospital patients in the 1970s and 1980s. Interestingly, Harvey described his acts (mixing cyanide, rat poison, or arsenic into their foo...

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04/18/2017

Criminal Trial for Ontario Nurse Who Withdrew Life Support without Consent

Nurse Joanna Flynn goes on trial for manslaughter for shutting off Deanna Leblanc’s life support.

Flynn allegedly did this without authorization when she worked as an intensive care unit nurse at Georgian Bay General Hospital in March 2014.

The Globe & Mail recently reviewed "A History of Nurses Charged with Killing Patients."

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