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Massachusetts Latest State to Require End-of-Life Disclosures

Following California, Michigan, New York, Vermont, and other states, Massachusetts has begun mandating certain end-of-life disclosures.

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Health Law Events at January 2015 AALS Annual Meeting

   Health Law Events at the January 2015 AALS Annual Meeting

Friday, JAN. 2

6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Lebanese Taverna

2641 Connecticut NW

Health Law Professors Reception 

Drinks & heavy hors d'oeuvres

Saturday, JAN. 3

10:30 am - 12:15 pm

Marriott Park Wardman

Maryland Suite A Lobby Level

Competition Policy in Health Care

Section on Antitrust & Economic Regulation

Co-sponsored by Section on Law, Medicine & Health Care

Competition in health care is a fundamental issue to a better functioning health care system that benefits consumers. The panel will discuss some of the most exciting issues in the interface between the two areas: competition between for profits and not for profits, hospital mergers, anti-competitive state licensing and other forms of state action, reverse payments in pharmaceuticals, integration through ACOs or merger, and contractual relations between payers and providers.


·         Thomas L. Greaney, Saint Louis University School of Law

·         Rebecca Haw, Vanderbilt University Law School

·         Kristin M. Madison, Northeastern University School of Law

·         Ann Marie Marciarille, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law

·         Hillary Greene, University of Connecticut School of Law (moderator)

Saturday, JAN. 3

12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Omni Shoreham Hotel

Diplomat Ballroom Lobby Level

Lunch Debate: Resolved, that the Affordable Care Act

Does Not Authorize Subsidies for Individuals Purchasing

Health Insurance Through Federal Exchanges


·         Jonathan Adler, Case Western University School of Law

·         Nicholas Bagley, University of Michigan School of Law

Saturday, JAN. 3

1:30 pm - 3:15 pm

Marriott Park Wardman

Wilson C

Mezzanine Level

An Examination of Patient Dumping by Hospitals after Thirty Years of EMTALA

Section on Law & Mental Disability

Co-sponsored by Section on Law, Medicine & Health Care

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986 (EMTALA) was designed to ensure equal access to emergency treatment by hospitals and to stop the practice of “patient dumping.” Patient dumping occurs when patients needing emergency care – typically uninsured, disabled, and minority individuals – are transferred, prematurely discharged, or are denied treatment altogether. Thirty years after EMTALA was passed, patient dumping is still occurring. And healthcare delivery has changed dramatically, with stunning advances in medical science and the advent of major, national movements toward evidence-based medicine care and systems-based quality improvement.

Have these sweeping changes left EMTALA behind, so out of touch with current practice that it is now harming, rather than helping, equal access to emergency care? What impact will the Affordable Care Act have on EMTALA? What impact is EMTALA having on the push for community-based services, the growing use of telemedicine, medical repatriation and the number of the mentally disabled in prisons? This panel will address these questions and others while analyzing a forthcoming report of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on EMTALA. The panel will also share teaching materials on covering EMTALA in doctrinal courses.


·         Martin R. Castro, Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Washington, D.C.

·         Richard L. Elliott, Ph.D., Professor and Director of Professionalism and Medical Ethics,

·         Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, GA

·         Katharine A. Van Tassel, University of Akron, C. Blake McDowell Law Center

·         Hernan Vera, President and Chief Executive Officer, Public Counsel, Los Angeles, CA

·         Barry Kozak, The John Marshall Law School (moderator)

Saturday, JAN. 3

3:30 pm - 5:15 pm

Marriott Park Wardman

Washington 5

Exhibition Level

Unbefriended Elderly: Making Medical Treatment Decisions for Patients without Surrogates

Section on Law, Medicine & Health Care

Joint Program with Section on Aging & Law

You are an orthopedic surgeon. Tomorrow morning, you are scheduled to fix an elderly woman’s broken hip. But the woman is demented, and no family can be located. Do you proceed? Or do you seek a court-appointed guardian to give you the “go ahead”? Delaying surgery increases the risks of complications.  But proceeding means acting without authorization or informed consent.  Would your answers change if the woman has a caring nephew who is not recognized as a valid surrogate under your state's health care decision making statute?

Unfortunately, clinicians and facilities across the United States have responded to these questions in inconsistent and ad hoc ways.  This is troubling, because the “unbefriended” or “unrepresented” are some of the most powerless and marginalized members of society.  They comprise 3-4% of the 1.3 million people living in nursing homes and 5% of the 500,000 per year who die in ICUs.

These expert panelists will describe the scope and nature of the problem as well as its causal factors.  They will also outline both currently implemented and proposed solutions.


·         Ellen Fox, MD - President and CEO at Integrated Ethics Consulting LLC; formerly Chief Officer, Ethics in Health Care, Department of Veterans Affairs

·         Sharona Hoffman, JD, LLM - Case Western Reserve University School of Law

·         Rebecca C. Morgan, JD - Stetson University College of Law

·         David Orentlicher, MD, JD - Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

·         Erica F. Wood, JD - Assistant Director, ABA Commission on Law and Aging

There will be a section business meeting at the end of this session.

Saturday, JAN. 3

5:15 pm - 6:30 pm

Marriott Park Wardman


Mezzanine Level

Health Law Works in Progress for New Law Teachers

Section on Law, Medicine & Health Care

Four junior health law scholars were invited through a competitive selection process.  Their papers have already been distributed.  At the meeting, each will briefly present her/his papers in a separate and concurrent roundtable setting (though two will share a single roundtable).  Then, senior scholars will provide oral comments and critiques.  Some will also provide written feedback on the manuscript.  The author of each paper will be given an opportunity to respond and ask questions of his or her own.  The goal of the workshop is to improve the work before publication.  This new program also presents an opportunity for the audience to hear cutting edge health law scholarship by recent members of the academy.


·         Zack Buck, JD - Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law:  “State Anti-Fraud Statutes, Off-Label Marketing, and the Solvable Challenge of Causation”

·         Christine S. Ho, JD, MPP - Rutgers School of Law – Newark:  “The Exception that Undermines the Rule: An Examination of the Nameless Threat of Underinclusion in Health Law"

·         David Kwok, JD, MPP, PhD - University of Houston Law Center:  “Fair Competition and False Claims in Off-Label Marketing”

·         Katherine T. Vukadin, JD - Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law:  “Obamacare Interrupted: Obstructive Federalism and the Consumer Information Blockade”


·         Jennifer Bard

·         Gregg Bloche

·         Robert A. Bohrer

·         Kathleen Boozang *

·         Leslie Francis

·         Abbe Gluck

·         Mark Hall

·         Nan Hunter

·         Joan Krause *

·         Kristin Madison

·         Gwen Majette

·         David Orentlicher *

·         Frank Pasquale

·         Thaddeus Pope

·         Ani Satz

·         Sidney Watson *
Sunday, JAN. 4

4:00 pm - 5:45 pm

Marriott Park Wardman

Maryland Suite C

Lobby Level

Tort Law and a Healthier Society

(Section on Torts & Compensation Systems)

The section will present a program on leading issues at the intersection of tort and health law. Professor Mello will discuss medical malpractice alternatives for hospitals. Professor Reiss will discuss liability issues related to vaccine-preventable diseases. Professor Winters will discuss food safety impact litigation. The section will also honor the winner of its annual William L. Prosser Award for outstanding contribution in scholarship, teaching, and service related to tort law.


·         Michelle Mello, Stanford Law School

·         Dorit Reiss, University of California, Hastings College of the Law

·         Diana Winters, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

·         Andrew R. Klein, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law (moderator)

Monday, JAN. 5

10:30 am - 12:15 pm

Marriott Park Wardman

Virginia Suite A

Lobby Level

Ebola and the Law

(Section on Biolaw)

The 2014 West African outbreak of the Ebola virus is the most severe epidemic attributed to this pathogen since 1976, when international health officials began keeping records on Ebola. As of August 2014, the total number of suspected cases has approached 2,000 and the number of suspected deaths has exceeded 1,000. The World Health Organization has

designated the health crisis as one of international concern. The law has a strong stake in containing this outbreak and preventing future episodes of this kind.  The section invited papers addressing issues of law and policy arising from the Ebola outbreak. Issues may include (but by no means were limited to) the following:

·         Why was the international legal and public health community so slow to recognize the 2014 Ebola outbreak? Human beings are supremely attuned to threats posed by other humans (such as war or terrorism), but far less prepared for threats deemed “natural” or “environmental.” How should law accommodate and/or offset this biological predisposition?

·         There is no vaccine or cure for Ebola. Medicines for treating Ebola, carrying some hope of reducing the mortality rate, are in extremely short supply. What are the bioethical implications raised by the decision to devote the extremely limited supplies of Ebola medication — no more than a handful of doses as of August 2014 — to medical workers of non-African origin? How should the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its foreign counterparts handle petitions to expedite the experimental use of Ebola medication?



·         Robert A. Bohrer, California Western School of Law

·         Lan Cao, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law

·         Carl H. Coleman, Seton Hall University School of Law

·         Victoria Sutton, Texas Tech University School of Law

·         James Ming Chen, Michigan State University College of Law (moderator)

·         Andrew W. Torrance, University of Kansas School of Law (commentator)

·         Katharine A. Van Tassel, University of Akron, C. Blake McDowell Law Center (commentator)

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Clinicians CRIMINALLY Charged for Not Resuscitating Patient

The UK Crown Prosecution Service has made the extremely unusual step to criminally charge three clinicians for accidentally failing to resuscitate six-year-old Jack Adcock. The clinicians mixed up Jack with another child who was subject to a DNR order...

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Minnesota Assisted Suicide Trial for Final Exit Network

The Minnesota trial of Final Exit Network and two of its Exit Guides has been scheduled for May 4, 2015. On December 8, Dakota County District Judge Christian Wilton set aside February 26-27 for hearings on all pretrial motions. One of the major ...

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Why Don’t Americans Trust Doctors?

It is an oft recited paradox that Americans like the men or women representing them in Congress, while hating Congress as a whole. In fact, respect for Congress is near all-time lows. In what has to be seen as a … Continue reading

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , , . Posted by Peter Ubel. Bookmark the permalink.


Bioethics Commission Requests Comment on Ethical Considerations in the EVD Response

At its meeting on November 6, 2014, the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues (Bioethics Commission) began its consideration of the complex ethical landscape of U.S. public health emergency response to the Ebola virus disease (EVD). The Bioethics Commission is currently considering three areas of specific ethical concern: U.S. public policies that restrict […]

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged , , , , . Posted by Alannah Kittle. Bookmark the permalink.


Wonderful Review of Critical Decisions in Hastings Center Report

I’m not sure why I didn’t notice this earlier, but I just came across a very gracious, even overly generous, review of my book, Critical Decisions in the leading journal of bioethics, The Hastings Center Report. I thought I would … Continue reading

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Two Cheers for Choosing Wisely

Dena S. Davis

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This entry was posted in Health Care and tagged . Posted by Susan Gilbert. Bookmark the permalink.


Physician, Torture Thyself

by Sean Philpott-Jones, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Clinical Leadership Last week, the US Senate Intelligence Committee released its long awaited report describing the techniques that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) used to interrogate suspected terrorists and other combatants captured during our long running War on Terror. The so-called Torture Report, the product […]

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This entry was posted in Health Care, Politics and tagged , , , , . Posted by The Bioethics Program. Bookmark the permalink.


Most Physicians Give ‘Futile’ Life-Sustaining Interventions

 The Medscape Ethics Report 2014 survey finds that most physicians give "futile" life-sustaining interventions.  

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