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Author Archive: Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

About Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

09/04/2018

Federal Appeals Court Will Hear Constitutional Challenge to California Brain Death Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has asked the parties in Fonseca v. Smith to select an oral argument hearing date in December 2018 or early 2019.  The lawsuit, which had been dismissed by the Northern District of California for la...

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09/03/2018

New Study Suggest Rampant Healthcare Fraud Regarding Shared Decision Making & Patient Decision Aids

When Medicare agreed to cover Screening for Lung Cancer with Low Dose Computed Tomography (LDCT), it required that the clinician and patent first have a "shared decision making, including the use of one or more decision aids." But in a new study, rese...

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09/02/2018

Judge Orders Transfusion of Jehovah’s Witness

Mercy Hospitals Victoria has obtained judicial permission to transfuse a pregnant Melbourne teenager against her will, should that become necessary during a planned surgical delivery (with possible post-partum hemorrhage).

The girl said it was against her Jehovah’s Witness religious beliefs to consent to the procedure. But while Victoria has a mature minor doctrine, the court determined that the girl's refusal was not voluntary. She had been influenced by a willingness to please her family and the community she was dependent on.
Justice Macaulay


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09/01/2018

UK Court Rules Against Clinicians in Medical Futility Case

The British courts usually side with clinicians in medical futility conflicts. But not always. This week, Mr Justice Keehan rejected the application of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust to place a DNR order on a patient.


THE TRUST

The trust argued that CPR would be futile and unnecessarily burdensome for the patient. She is apparently completely vegetative, though it is too early to know if that is permanent.


THE FAMILY

The patient's children said she should be given a chance to make a recovery. They said she held strong religious beliefs and would have wanted CPR.


THE COURT

Mr Justice Keehan said he had to take into account the “wishes and feelings” the woman had previously expressed to family members. He said it was “plain” that she would have wanted CPR had she been able to make the decision.



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08/31/2018

Frequency of Use of the Religious Exemption in New Jersey Cases of Determination of Brain Death

With ongoing appellate cases in California and Ontario, there is significant discussion about whether individuals with moral objections to brain death should be declared dead by neurological criteria. While California, New York and Illinois require ho...

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08/30/2018

Why Are there No Patient Decision Aids for Hospice?

A range of public and private developers have been producing patient decision aids for a wide range of screening and treatment interventions. One inventory of these evidence-based educational tools is available here. Therefore, it cam as quite a surpr...

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08/29/2018

Portugal – Rights of Persons in the Context of Advanced Disease and End-of-Life

As I am Portugal this week, I should blog about this new law that was published a few weeks ago: "Rights of Persons in the Context of Advanced Disease and End-of-Life." The law discussed advance directives and other familiar elements. I highlight just ...

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08/27/2018

Medical Aid in Dying in Minnesota CLE

Join me one month from today, on Thursday, September 27,  2018, from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM. The Elder Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association is sponsoring a panel on medical aid in dying in the Hennepin Room at Stinson Leonard Street. A...

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08/27/2018

Medical Aid in Dying in Minnesota CLE

Join me one month from today, on Thursday, September 27,  2018, from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM. The Elder Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association is sponsoring a panel on medical aid in dying in the Hennepin Room at Stinson Leonard Street. A...

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08/26/2018

Georgia Supreme Court Rules Removal of Life Support Foreseeable for Patient with Severe Brain Injuries

In 2010, a jury in south Georgia found Bobby “Rex” Stribling Jr. guilty of murdering municipal court Judge Glenn Thomas Jr.

Stribling struck Thomas in the head at least 15 times with an unknown object. Thomas died two weeks later at a hospital after he was removed from life support.

Stribling appealed his conviction, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to convict him, because Thomas might have survived had life support not been withdrawn, and thus the withdrawal of life support was the intervening and ultimate cause of Thomas’s death.

This week, the Georgia Supreme Court rejected this argument. Like many other courts across the country, the court held that the removal of life support is not a superseding cause. "It was reasonably foreseeable that Thomas would be taken off life support when his condition failed to improve" and "was basically brain dead.” 

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