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09/28/2014

Festering Mistrust over Brain Death

I was disappointed to see this newsletter article from the Life Issues Institute and the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network titled “The Market for Brain Death.”  

The primary focus seems to be on aid in dying, particularly involuntary or …

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

09/27/2014

Congress Urges CMS to Adequately Reimburse Physicians for Advance Care Planning

This week, 34 Members of the House of Representatives, sent a letter to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, Marilyn Tavenner, to adopt recommendations that would adequately reimburse Medicare providers for having…

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

09/26/2014

More on Relativity and Happiness

Recently, I wrote about relative wealth and happiness. A new NBER paper, by Stevenson and Wolfers, seems to belie this view. It shows a sharp increase in happiness with increasing income: But these data are consistent with the idea that … Continue reading

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09/26/2014

Australian Medical Association Position Statement on Medical Futility

Earlier this month, the Australian Medical Association released a new “Position Statement on End of Life Care and Advance Care Planning 2014.” The statement outlines policy on issues such as medical futility, decision making capacity, advance care planning, artificial nutrition and hydration, bereavement, workforce, and community awareness.


Futile Treatment is defined as “Treatment that no longer provides a benefit to a patient or treatment where the burdens of treatment outweigh the benefits. Doctors are not required to offer treatment options they consider neither medically beneficial nor clinically appropriate.”


Here are the three sections on medical futility:



7.1  Doctors should understand the limits of medicine in prolonging life and recognise when efforts to prolong life may not benefit the patient. In end of life care, medically futile treatment can be considered to be treatment that gives no, or an extremely small, chance of meaningful prolongation of survival and, at best, can only briefly delay the inevitable death of the patient.”


7.2  Whilst doctors are generally not obliged to provide treatments that are considered medically futile, where possible it is important that the doctor discuss their reasons for determining a treatment to be medically futile with the patient (and/or the SDM, carers, family members) before deciding the treatment should not be offered.”

7.3  In some cases, a treatment may not offer a benefit in terms of curing a patient’s condition, or significantly extending life or improving quality of life, but it may benefit the patient in other ways. For example, a ‘medically futile’ treatment may briefly extend the life of the patient so he or she can achieve their wish of saying goodbye to a relative who is arriving shortly from overseas.”

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

09/25/2014

So when do you hope to die?

Perhaps you’ve seen it already:  the ever-more-present Dr. Emanuel has a piece in The Atlantic entitled “Why I hope to die at 75.”  Follow the link and you can read it for free online. I confess that, upon learning of the title and the author, my mind was flooded with wisecracks.  I publicly repent of those and will repeat none of them here. I don’t… // Read More »

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09/25/2014

As Doctors Lose Clout, Drug Firms Redirect the Sales Call

[The Wall Street Journal] SAN DIEGO—Kendall French used to pitch drugs to doctors who could prescribe them. But many of those doctors now work for hospitals that don’t give them final say over what is on the menu of medicines they can pick. So when the GlaxoSmithKline PLC saleswoman began plugging two new lung-disease drugs […]

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09/25/2014

Behavioral Economics and the Relativity Theory of Happiness

According to many traditional economic theories of human nature, higher income should make people happier. That’s because with every additional dollar we make, we can purchase goods that increase our “utility.” Or we can save more money, and reduce anxiety … Continue reading

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09/25/2014

Synthetic Biology: A Study in Reinvention

Gregory E. Kaebnick

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

09/25/2014

Synthetic Biology: A Study in Reinvention

Gregory E. Kaebnick

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

09/25/2014

Tackling the Problem of Domestic Violence

by Sean Philpott-Jones, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Clinical Leadership The National Football League is in for a rough season, both on and off the field. In the past month, for example, America’s most popular sport has been rocked by allegations that league officials and team owners willfully ignored evidence that the Baltimore […]

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