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My latest Law & Ethics in Oncology column for the ASCO Post is "Full Disclosure: What Oncologists Must Tell Patients About Their Experience and Training."

Informed consent is an important part of delivering quality cancer care. Traditional ethical and legal rules require clinicians to disclose three types of information: (1) the patient’s diagnosis; (2) the nature of the proposed intervention and its intended benefits, risks, and adverse effects; and (3) medically reasonable alternatives and their benefits, risks, and adverse effects.

Recently, however, these traditional informed-consent rules have been expanding also to include non-medical information. Increasingly, clinicians must disclose personal information, such as their training and experience.



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It was unethical for a fertility doctor to use his own sperm to inseminate patients without their consent. But what are the legal harms to the women? To their children?

The post What’s Wrong with a Fertility Doctor Using His Own Sperm? appeared first on The Hastings Center.

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Learn more about "exit guide services" offered by the Final Exit Network.

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Elizabeth Villarreal has just published "Pregnancy and Living Wills: A Behavioral Economic Analysis" in the Yale Law Journal Forum. Here is the abstract:

“Living wills” are a commonly-used form of advance directive that allow people to state their preferences for medical treatment in the event that they become unable to make those wishes known in the future. But many people, including health-care professionals, are surprised to learn that women in the majority of states are not allowed to have binding living wills during parts of their pregnancies. 

These so-called “pregnancy exemptions” are likely unconstitutional. They also do a poor job of capturing pregnant women’s true end-of-life preferences. Behavioral economics, the study of how human psychology influences economic decision-making, can help legislators draft living will statutes that more accurately capture women’s preferences and, in the
process, provide women with greater individual autonomy.



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Elizabeth Villarreal has just published "Pregnancy and Living Wills: A Behavioral Economic Analysis" in the Yale Law Journal Forum. Here is the abstract:

“Living wills” are a commonly-used form of advance directive that allow people to state their preferences for medical treatment in the event that they become unable to make those wishes known in the future. But many people, including health-care professionals, are surprised to learn that women in the majority of states are not allowed to have binding living wills during parts of their pregnancies. 

These so-called “pregnancy exemptions” are likely unconstitutional. They also do a poor job of capturing pregnant women’s true end-of-life preferences. Behavioral economics, the study of how human psychology influences economic decision-making, can help legislators draft living will statutes that more accurately capture women’s preferences and, in the
process, provide women with greater individual autonomy.



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By Jon Holmlund The latest mind-blowing (seriously, no pun intended) report from the science literature is that a team of scientists at Yale Medical School have been able to use an artificial preservative solution to recover electrical activity in some of the cells of the brains from the severed heads of pigs that had been …

Continue reading "Brain resuscitation (?) in pigs"

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Editorials appear in cooperation with the American Journal of Bioethics. This article and its associated pieces can be found here.

by Jerry Menikoff

How can we appropriately ensure that people who enroll in clinical research understand what they are getting into? The recent revisions to the primary set of U.S. regulations for protecting research subjects (the Common Rule) attempt to better achieve that goal by, in part, providing more useful information to prospective subjects. In this issue of AJOB, Stephanie Morain and her colleagues address another important aspect of informed consent to research: Who should be obtaining consent? They note that although a variety of ethical guidelines warn against having physician-investigators obtain consent from someone who is already their own patient, U.S.…

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Editorials appear in cooperation with the American Journal of Bioethics. This article and its associated pieces can be found here.

by Jonathan D. Moreno

Let me address the “editorial” aspect of this editorial right away: I wholly agree with the principle that lies behind Mark Kuczewski’s admirable article. I take that principle to be that when clinical ethics issues affect undocumented patients, fostering efficient routine care in the setting of “new immigration-related stressors” is “to be resolved by finding creative means of instancing the values of care, efficiency, and public health.”

In Kuczewski’s article, the clinical ethicist is a kind of mediator and moral conscience.…

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The Victoria Department of Health & Human Services has posted videos as part of the voluntary assisted dying training for medical practitioners. These videos provide examples of how medical practitioners may have some conversations with patie...

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Brian Elzweig has just published "Do Not Resuscitate Tattoos: Adequate Evidence of a Patient's Intent to Die?" in the Oregon Law Review. "As DNR tattoos gain popularity, medical providers are increasingly forced to determine their patients' most vital...

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