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Author Archive: Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

About Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

06/24/2017

Medical Aid in Dying in Minnesota – Lessons Learned in Oregon and Colorado

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06/24/2017

Heavy Metal Music and Medical Futility

Here is a provocative recent blog post on how heavy metal music grapples with some of the themes in medical futility and ICU care.   The author analyzes lyrics and clips and how they reflect serious issues in end-of-life healthcare.  For exa...

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06/23/2017

2017 Humanities in Medicine Conference – Crossing Disciplines: Strategies for Humanizing One Another

Submit your abstract by Friday July 14, 2017, for the 2017 Humanities in Medicine Conference at Mayo Clinic in October 2017.

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06/23/2017

2017 Humanities in Medicine Conference – Crossing Disciplines: Strategies for Humanizing One Another

Submit your abstract by Friday July 14, 2017, for the 2017 Humanities in Medicine Conference at Mayo Clinic in October 2017.

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06/22/2017

National Right to Life Tackles End of Life Medicine

Several sessions at next week's National Right to Life Conference address end-of-life medicine, including the general session: How to Prevent an Assisted Suicide Roe v. Wade.

Assisted Suicide Battles Rage in Nearly Every State: Is Your State Next?
Mary Hahn Beerworth, Scott Fischbach
The threat of doctor-prescribed suicide is advancing in the states. Moreover, the next Supreme Court nomination could lead to legalization of euthanasia nationwide. Assisting suicide is now legal in California, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and, via the courts in Montana. With battles raging in states
across the country, the ongoing battle in Vermont will be discussed as will other battles nationwide. This workshop will give background and break open the myths surrounding doctor-prescribed suicide. The speakers will cover the current legal and legislative landscape, describe some different kinds of successful winning (and losing strategies), and talk about what you can do in your own state. In the wake of massive state legislative push and upcoming Supreme Court nominations, it is more important than ever that doctor-prescribed suicide be stopped in its tracks.

The Battle Against Simon’s Law: How Dirty Tricks Lost To Smart Negotiations
Kathy Ostrowski
When hospitals choose to fight against parental decision-making rights – the battle for life can take two paths, and only one leads to life. This workshop will provide a firsthand account of those who fought for Simon’s Law in Kansas. Simon’s Law is a very significant pro-life measure that combats selectively “rationed” care and medical discrimination against children with life-limiting diagnoses.  Kathy Ostrowski will share how the triumph of artful dialogue beat back bullying tactics and whisper campaigns. She will delve into the frontal attacks on Simon’s Law and reveal a hidden battle plan, offering an explanation of how negotiations with a Catholic hospital chain led to a pro-life win.

Terri’s Legacy: Building a Network that Will Save Lives - Bobby Schindler
It’s every family’s worst nightmare: a loved one is desperately ill and doctors refuse treatment on the grounds that the care is “futile.” Where do you turn? Whom do you call? Hospital ethics committees, family members who stand to gain financially, and promoters of the euthanasia movement are working together to end the lives of the medically vulnerable every day. It is time for the pro-life movement to stand in the gap and do what it does best: advocate for life. Find out how you can help the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network build a nationwide network of medical and legal professionals willing to step in and advocate for the lives of those who are at risk. The time to act is now — the lives you save
could be closer to home than you ever thought possible.

Advance Care Planning” — Helping You to Enforce Your Wishes or Nudging You to Accept Premature Death? - Jennifer Popik, J.D.
Learn how “advance care planning” mavens are using wily methods to “nudge” people into agreeing to sign away their right to live — and how to resist.

Beyond Assisted Suicide: Are We Prepared? - Brian Johnston
How far is the culture of death planning to go? How far are civilized individuals willing to go to stop it? The right to life movement draws its name from the founding documents of the United States of America, a nation which boldly asserted the distillation of Western civilization’s hopes and dreams and values. Without the right to life the foundations of Western society have nothing on which to rest. The self-evident truth of a human being’s unique stature in the eyes of the law, and a just government’s duty toward life, is the foundation of all our other laws.

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged . Posted by Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD. Bookmark the permalink.

06/22/2017

National Right to Life Tackles End of Life Medicine

Several sessions at next week's National Right to Life Conference address end-of-life medicine, including the general session: How to Prevent an Assisted Suicide Roe v. Wade.

Assisted Suicide Battles Rage in Nearly Every State: Is Your State Next?
Mary Hahn Beerworth, Scott Fischbach
The threat of doctor-prescribed suicide is advancing in the states. Moreover, the next Supreme Court nomination could lead to legalization of euthanasia nationwide. Assisting suicide is now legal in California, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and, via the courts in Montana. With battles raging in states
across the country, the ongoing battle in Vermont will be discussed as will other battles nationwide. This workshop will give background and break open the myths surrounding doctor-prescribed suicide. The speakers will cover the current legal and legislative landscape, describe some different kinds of successful winning (and losing strategies), and talk about what you can do in your own state. In the wake of massive state legislative push and upcoming Supreme Court nominations, it is more important than ever that doctor-prescribed suicide be stopped in its tracks.

The Battle Against Simon’s Law: How Dirty Tricks Lost To Smart Negotiations
Kathy Ostrowski
When hospitals choose to fight against parental decision-making rights – the battle for life can take two paths, and only one leads to life. This workshop will provide a firsthand account of those who fought for Simon’s Law in Kansas. Simon’s Law is a very significant pro-life measure that combats selectively “rationed” care and medical discrimination against children with life-limiting diagnoses.  Kathy Ostrowski will share how the triumph of artful dialogue beat back bullying tactics and whisper campaigns. She will delve into the frontal attacks on Simon’s Law and reveal a hidden battle plan, offering an explanation of how negotiations with a Catholic hospital chain led to a pro-life win.

Terri’s Legacy: Building a Network that Will Save Lives - Bobby Schindler
It’s every family’s worst nightmare: a loved one is desperately ill and doctors refuse treatment on the grounds that the care is “futile.” Where do you turn? Whom do you call? Hospital ethics committees, family members who stand to gain financially, and promoters of the euthanasia movement are working together to end the lives of the medically vulnerable every day. It is time for the pro-life movement to stand in the gap and do what it does best: advocate for life. Find out how you can help the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network build a nationwide network of medical and legal professionals willing to step in and advocate for the lives of those who are at risk. The time to act is now — the lives you save
could be closer to home than you ever thought possible.

Advance Care Planning” — Helping You to Enforce Your Wishes or Nudging You to Accept Premature Death? - Jennifer Popik, J.D.
Learn how “advance care planning” mavens are using wily methods to “nudge” people into agreeing to sign away their right to live — and how to resist.

Beyond Assisted Suicide: Are We Prepared? - Brian Johnston
How far is the culture of death planning to go? How far are civilized individuals willing to go to stop it? The right to life movement draws its name from the founding documents of the United States of America, a nation which boldly asserted the distillation of Western civilization’s hopes and dreams and values. Without the right to life the foundations of Western society have nothing on which to rest. The self-evident truth of a human being’s unique stature in the eyes of the law, and a just government’s duty toward life, is the foundation of all our other laws.

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06/21/2017

Critical Care Nurses Urge Physicians Not Allow Families to Override Patient Wishes. Many

A new study in the July/August 2017 Dimensions of Critical Care Nursing  reports suggestions from 500 critical care nurses on how to improve end-of-life care obstacles.  

Major themes include:

  • Ensuring characteristics of a good death
  • Improving physician communication with patients and families
  • Adjusting nurse-to-patient ratios to 1:1
  • Recognizing and avoiding futile care
  • Increasing EOL education
  • Physicians who are present and ‘‘on the same page"
  • Need for more support staff
  • Not allowing families to override patients’ wishes

I want to second this final suggestion.  In my discussions with nurses this is a very common question.  The study's quotes are consistent with my own experience:

  • "The most troubling aspect is when patients’ wishes are not followed."
  • "Respect patients’ wishes NOT families!"
  • "Follow the patient’s DNR/POLST form regardless of the family’s wishes. The patient filled it out for a reason."
As I have written several times, surrogates who contradict the patient's own instructions or wishes can and should be replaced.  

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06/20/2017

Psychedelic Medicine – New Frontiers in Palliative Care

Exciting new research is revealing that psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin and MDMA, may offer significant benefit for patients struggling at the end of life and those beset by major depressions and treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress. 

A conference at the University of Washington School of Law, on October 27, 2017, brings together doctors, scientific researchers, attorneys and ethicists to consider the medical, legal and ethical implications of this evolving research.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dan Abrahamson, Senior Legal Advisor, Drug Policy Alliance's Office of Legal Affairs, Oakland, CA
  • Ira Byock, M.D., Founder and Chief Medical Officer, Providence Institute for Human Caring, Torrance, CA
  • Rick Doblin, Founder and Executive Director of Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, Boston, MA
  • Representative Roger Goodman, Washington State Legislature, Kirkland, WA
  • Sam Kamin, marijuana law reform expert and Slate series author of “Altered States: Inside Colorado’s Marijuana Economy,” Professor of Law, University of Denver, Denver, CO
  • Patricia Kuszler, Charles I. Stone Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, WA
  • Don Lattin, award-winning author and journalist, author of Changing our Minds—Psychedelic Sacraments and the New Psychotherapy, adjunct faculty, Graduate School of Journalism, University of California at Berkeley, CA
  • Lynn Mehler, partner, Hogan Lovells, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology practice, Washington, DC
  • Leanna Standish, Ph.D., School of Naturopathic Medicine, Bastyr University, Seattle, WA
  • Kathryn Tucker, Executive Director, End of Life Liberty Project

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06/20/2017

Charlie Gard – Balancing Due Process and Patient Best Interest

In January 2017, clinicians at Great Ormond Street Hospital determined that continued life-sustaining medical treatment for Charlie Gard was not in his best interest. Nevertheless, those clinicians continued administering that treatment for mont...

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06/20/2017

20th Anniversary of Veto of Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA)

On June 20, 1997 Governor Bush vetoed the bill that would have then become the Texas Advance Directives Act.  The bill was materially amended and enacted as TADA in the following session in 1999.

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