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05/18/2018

Cessation of Eating and Drinking VSED (video)

The Hemlock Society of San Diego has posted a video of my presentation on VSED at Final Exit Network's recent Dying in the Americas conference. Unfortunately, it focuses on me rather than on the several hundred visually reinforcing slides I used. ...

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

05/18/2018

A pause for doctor-assisted suicide in California

Readers of this blog probably saw this week’s news that a California judge blocked the state’s End of Life Options Act, the one that legalized doctor-assisted suicide in California.  The law passed after apparent failure in a regular California Legislature session, when its sponsors brought it up again in a special session that was supposed to be about Medicaid funding.  The judge said that inserting... // Read More »

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

05/17/2018

Bellevue Literary ReviewA Reading to Celebrate the New Issue

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

05/17/2018

Big Data Studies and Abuse of Fiduciary Duties

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

A study published in the May 17th, 2018 issue of Cell, “Disease Heritability Inferred from Familial Relationships Reported in Medical Records,” shows a connection between families and certain diseases at three large urban university medical centers. The researchers took private health information from electronic medical records, identified family trees by matching emergency contacts, examined diagnoses and other health information, and matched that with any tissue samples from biobanks to build a picture of disease heritability. The people whose private health information was used have no idea that the study occurred.

This study is similar to the recent revelation of Facebook data being used and shared without permission if a friend consented to a quiz.…

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This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Informed Consent, Privacy, Research Ethics. Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.

05/17/2018

Court Strikes California End of Life Options Act as Unconstitutional – Summary

Here is a summary of this week's Riverside County Superior Court order that strikes the California End of Life Options Act as unconstitutional. I discussed this case with NPR here and built a page of resources here. First, the order has nothing to do ...

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

05/16/2018

The Homeless as Human Subjects

STUDENT VOICES | CHYNN ETHICS PRIZE FIRST-PLACE WINNER By Sarah Reis During my senior year of high school, on a bitter Saturday morning in January, I found myself at the entrance to the Boston Common assisting other volunteers from the Sock Exchange charity in organizing food and clothing for distribution to the homeless of the […]

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05/16/2018

Zamora-Quezada and Unwanted Medical Treatment

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas has charged Jorge
Zamora-Quezada with egregious healthcare fraud reminiscent of Farid Fata.

Since 2000, Zamora-Quezada has falsely diagnosed vulnerable patients - including the young, elderly and disabled - with various degenerative diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. He then administered chemotherapy and other toxic medications to the patients based on that false diagnosis. Zamora-Quezada also conducted a battery of fraudulent, repetitive and excessive medical procedures on patients.

While Zamora-Quezada and Fata are at the extreme end of the culpability continuum of unwanted medical treatment, clinicians further down the continuum are also culpable. Failing to meaningfully inform the patient and to ascertain her preferences also risks unwarranted UMT.    

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

05/15/2018

California Judge Overturns California Medical Aid-in-Dying Law


A California judge granted a motion by opponents of the California End of Life Option Act to overturn the law because he said the legislature violated the state constitution by passing it during a special session limited to health care issues. (HT: C&C)


Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel A. Ottolia gave the state attorney general five days to file an emergency appeal of the ruling in the case, Ahn vs. Hestrin — Case RIC1607135, before it will take effect.


Unless the appeals court suspends the ruling, it will prevent mentally capable, terminally ill adults with six months or less to live from utilizing the law, which authorizes them to utilize medical aid in dying as a palliative care option to peacefully end unbearable suffering.


“We respectfully believe the Court misinterpreted the application of the state constitution to this law because medical aid in dying is a recognized health care option,” said John C. Kappos, a partner in the O'Melveny law firm representing Compassion & Choices, a national organization promoting end-of-life care options that successfully advocated for the legislature to pass the law. “Ultimately, we are confident an appeals court will rule the legislature duly passed the End of Life Option Act and reinstate this perfectly valid law, which the strong majority of Californians support.”


Last June, Compassion & Choices released a report estimated that 504 Californians have received prescriptions for medical aid in dying since it took effect on June 9, 2016. Last July, the California Department of Public Health released a report showing 191 terminally ill Californians received prescriptions from 173 doctors for aid-in-dying medication from the nearly seven month period from June 9, 2016 until Dec. 31, 2016; 111 of those individuals (58%) decided to self-ingest the medication.


“This unjust ruling to take away this compassionate option to peacefully end my suffering is my worst nightmare,” said Matt Fairchild, a Catholic, 48-year-old, retired Army staff sergeant from Burbank who takes 26 medication to manage his symptoms from terminal melanoma that has spread to his bones, lungs and brain. “I pray the attorney general successfully appeals this decision, so hundreds of terminally ill Californians like me don’t have to suffer needlessly at life’s end.”


“Overturning the End of Life Option Act would have devastating consequences for terminally ill Californians, who will be forced to suffer through needlessly prolonged deaths, and their families,” said Kevin Díaz, national director of legal advocacy for Compassion & Choices. “While we respect the plaintiffs’ personal opposition to the law, they certainly should not be able to take away the ability of other doctors to offer this option to dying patients to peacefully end their suffering.”


“I made a promise to my wife Brittany that I would continue her fight to authorize medical aid in dying in California, and thanks to many terminally ill advocates like Matt Fairchild, we did,” said Dan Diaz, husband of Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old woman from Alamo, who had to move to Oregon in 2014 to utilize its medical aid-in-dying law because California had not passed its law yet. “In Brittany's honor, I will once again focus all my efforts to convince Gov. Brown, the attorney general and the courts to keep this law in effect.”


“If the End of Life Option Act authorizing medical aid in dying is overturned, terminally ill adults like the ones I worked with very closely during to passage of the law, and their families will be forced to live through painful and prolonged deaths,” said Dolores Huerta, civil rights activist. “I understand the desperate need for medical aid-in-dying laws from watching my mother needlessly die in agony from breast cancer because she did not have this palliative care option. That is why spent long hours in California working to pass the state’s End of Life Option Act.” 


“This is not about politics or about a judge’s decision; this is about human compassion for the terminally ill. Unfortunately, there are still opponents who want to politicize this issue,” said Rev. Dr. Ignacio Castuera, a Methodist minister and member of Compassion & Choices Latino Leadership Council. “This is a compassionate law for our brothers and sisters. The God we know through Jesus Christ is like a compassionate parent who would not want to see his children suffer unnecessarily.”


California is one of seven states — including Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and Hawai‘i — as well as the District of Columbia, that have authorized medical aid in dying. Collectively, these eight jurisdictions represent nearly one out of five Americans (19%).



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

05/15/2018

A Reflection on The Match: Appreciating and Addressing the Financial Burden on Students

By Justin D. Triemstra Match day. Those two words can bring back a fountain of emotions for physicians.  For some, excitement and thrill. For others, anxiety or sorrow. But for most, a significant financial burden during a time of limited income. A recent discussion with a fourth year medical student reminded me of this important, […]

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This entry was posted in Health Care, Social Justice and tagged , , . Posted by reflectivemeded. Bookmark the permalink.

05/15/2018

The Waiting Game by Dr. Peter Berczeller

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