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Author Archive: Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

About Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

10/17/2017

Brain Death Conflict – Taquisha Desirae McKitty

On September 14, 2017, 27-year old Taquisha Desirae McKitty was brought to Brampton Civic Hospital suffering from a drug overdose. After six days, doctors declared her brain dead despite her family’s wishes.

The family filed an injunction to keep McKitty on organ support. On September 28th, Superior Court Justice M.J. Shaw extended that injunction to October 17th so that the family could obtain a second opinion from another physician. It is unclear that they have obtained such an opinion.



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10/16/2017

12% of Patients Receive “Futile" Treatment

Hannah Carter A new Australian study determined that 12% of end-of-life treatment was "futile" as determined by a consensus of clinicians.   This corroborates a figure determined a few years ago in a study at UCLA in the United States. Cl...

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10/15/2017

NJ Judge Recognizes Cause of Action for Wrongful Prolongation of Life

Earlier this year, I argued that courts are becoming more receptive to tort claims when clinicians administer life-sustaining treatments contrary to patient wishes or instructions.  The New York Times picked up on my piece. Now, the New Jersey Law Journal reports that yet another case has joined this trend.  

Morris County, NJ Superior Court Judge W. Hunt Dumont declined to grant summary judgment in favor of defendants, Morristown Medical Center, Dr. Andrew Youseff and several nurses for their role in prolonging the life of Suzanna Stica. “Defendants violated Ms. Stica’s rights when they resuscitated her against the clear directives.” 

Despite those orders, the defendants resuscitated Stica after she went into cardiac arrest. She lived another six months before she finally died. During that time, she experienced pain and suffering.

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10/14/2017

Charlie Gard Redux – Isaiah Hasstrup and Pediatric Medical Futility Conflicts in London

Clinicians at King's College Hospital say that giving further intensive care treatment to seven-month-old Isaiah Haastrup is "futile, burdensome and not in his best interests." The baby's parents, Takesha Thomas and Lanre Hasstrup, want his treatment ...

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10/14/2017

Two New Medical Futility Cases in Canada

Hassan Rasouli After the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Rasouli, clinicians across Canada have generally been "chilled" from standing up to surrogates who demanded potentially inappropriate life-sustaining treatment.  But two new cases s...

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10/13/2017

ASBH 2017 – Law Sessions

Join me on Saturday, October 21 at 12:45p in Empire C for "Effecting Change, Impacting Policy."

In this tumultuous political climate, ethicists’ expertise can be invaluable in educating policymakers about the implications of potential changes to law and policy. Ethicists with legal experience and knowledge can help effect important changes at the national and local level – whether by drafting amicus briefs, submitting comments on proposed administrative regulations, or lobbying legislators. This panel will bring together experts at the intersection of law and ethics who have been successful in impacting policy on issues relevant to the ASBH community.

The panel includes:

Kirstin Matthews, Rice University's Institute Baker Institute for Public Policy
Thaddeus Pope, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
Carrie Zoubul, C.A. Goldberg, PLLC

Also join me on Friday, October 20 at 10:45a for the "Top 10 Legal Developments in Bioethics" with Art Derse, Paul Lombardo, and Valerie Gutmann Koch.

I will also be two more things.  First, I will do a "Meet the Professor" at 7:00a on Friday October 20.  Second, I will do a session on pregnant dead women on Saturday, October 21 at 8:00a.


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10/13/2017

Principles and Practice of Bioethics and End-of-Life Care for Patients with Dementia (Roseville, MN)

Check out this free CEU seminar with Vic Sandler.  I have had the pleasure of serving on the University of Minnesota Hospital Ethics Committee that Vic co-chairs.  I have also had the pleasure of co-chairing Minnesota POLST with Vic at the Mi...

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10/13/2017

Third Biennial Conference of Philosophy of Death & Dying

The call for abstracts is open for the Third Biennial Conference of Philosophy of Death & Dying, August 8-10, 2018, in Uppsala, Sweden.

Organizers invite submissions that address any philosophical questions related to death and dying. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. The Metaphysics of Death (e.g. the criterion of death; the nature of death’s harm; the subject and timing of the supposed harm of death; the asymmetry problem)
  2. Axiological Issues (e.g. death as a harm or a benefit)
  3. Emotions and Attitudes (the rationality of fear of death; the value of dwelling on mortality)
  4. Immortality (e.g. questions of the desirability and the possibility of immortality)
  5. Suicide (e.g. issues of autonomy, rationality, and morality)
  6. Dying (e.g. aging; dying well; facing death; the question of the need for completeness and closure)
  7. The Death of Others (e.g. the phenomenology and ontology of grief; the importance to us of future people)
  8. The Ethics of Killing (e.g. war, euthanasia, abortion, animals)
  9. Philosophical Implications of Death-Related Technologies (e.g. radical life extension; cryogenics)

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10/12/2017

New Lawsuit for Non-consensual Removal of Life Support

Most lawsuits between families and clinicians concerning life-sustaining treatment are for injunctions. The family wants to keep the patient alive. But some (like this one in Connecticut) are for money damages after the patient has died. One such case...

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10/11/2017

Are Advance Directives Safe Enough? Top Court to Decide

Asking whether a healthcare tool or intervention is "safe" almost always really means asking if it is "safe enough."  First, almost all healthcare tools and interventions introduce their own inherent risks. Second, almost all tools and i...

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