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01/28/2016

Terri Schiavo Used to Support Jeb Bush

As a photo of Terri Schiavo flashes on the screen, a narrator touts Bush's credentials as a social conservative who "fought time and again for the right to life."

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

01/28/2016

Terri Schiavo Used to Support Jeb Bush

As a photo of Terri Schiavo flashes on the screen, a narrator touts Bush's credentials as a social conservative who "fought time and again for the right to life."

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

01/28/2016

ASBH 18th Annual Meeting October 6-9, 2016 – Call for Proposals

The call for proposals for the ASBH 18th Annual Meeting is open until March 4, 2016.   This is the largest bioethics meeting in North America.  It will be in Washington, DC on October 6-9, 2016.

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

01/27/2016

Judging Policies by Their Supporters

The world is complicated. It’s hard to know what the federal government should do about a whole range of problems. That’s why most people take a shortcut, and judge policies based on their opinion of the people who support or … Continue reading

The post Judging Policies by Their Supporters appeared first on PeterUbel.com.

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01/27/2016

The History of Bioethics Series – National Bioethics Commissions

This is the first post in our “History of Bioethics” series in which we will examine some of the seminal events that shaped the landscape of bioethics and its practice in the world today. This first blog will focus on the creation of the national bioethics advisory bodies in the United States and their different […]

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01/27/2016

When Hospitals Incorrectly Declare Brain Death

Mindful of new reports and court cases on variability in the criteria and standards for brain death, this Alabama personal injury law firm is advertising for cases in which hospitals incorrectly declare brain death.

"If you have been involved in a situation in which you believe the brain death of a loved one was incorrectly determined, contact us at (877) 336-0776 to speak with an Alabama medical negligence attorney. We offer a free initial case review to all new clients."

"Malpractice occurs when a medical professional acts in a negligent or unprofessional way. In extreme cases, malpractice can lead to wrongful death,  especially in the case of incorrectly declaring brain death. There have been several examples over the years of hospitals incorrectly identifying a patient as 'brain-dead' when there is still some activity."

"Generally, a patient is classified brain-dead after being studied by a neurologist but, this is a tricky situation as the term and policies vary from hospital to hospital. Only 33% of hospitals require a neurologist to be present, and most policies don’t even mention who on the staff is required to make this very important judgment. Recent studies have found that most policies regarding brain death are highly inconsistent."

"While new policies are being put into place, incorrectly declaring brain death still occurs all too often and is, not only traumatic for the family, but put’s the hospital at risk for a malpractice suit."


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

01/26/2016

The Sky is Falling: How Much Do We Owe A Patient?

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Imagine if a patient went sky diving without a parachute and survived. You fixed up her body and explained to her the dangers of her activities. You refer her to a program that offers free parachutes and trains people on how to use them. Upon discharge, she does the same thing again and ends up back in your hospital? Do you perform the same surgeris again? What if she does this 3 times? Four times? Is there a point at which we “give up” on patients when they consistently return for the same problem from the same cause after ignoring all advice?…

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This entry was posted in Clinical Ethics, Featured Posts, Health Care. Posted by Craig Klugman. Bookmark the permalink.

01/26/2016

New Program Will Bring Advance Care Planning to African-American Faith Communities

Richard Payne, MD

Participating Congregations in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Philadelphia and West Palm Beach 


African Americans die at excessive levels from chronic disease1 yet use only eight percent of hospice services nationally.2 Advance care planning – the process of communicating with a healthcare agent about the care they would want if unable to speak for themselves – and increased use of hospice services could greatly improve quality of life for one of the most vulnerable populations in America, elderly African Americans. 

A new project funded by the John and Wauna Harman Foundation and others will enable the Center for Practical Bioethics to implement a two-year program working with African American faith communities and community collaborators (i.e., hospices) in four cities to increase advance care planning and use of hospice services. Cities include Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas,  Kansas City, Philadelphia, and West Palm Beach.

The rationale for the program is rooted in American history and culture. Many African Americans distrust our healthcare system – which once practiced segregation, involuntary sterilization and unethical research practices – and are understandably reluctant to engage in a process that they perceive could put them at greater risk of being underserved. African Americans are also markedly more religious than the U.S. population and more reliant on faith leaders to help them make healthcare decisions. 

The project, launched on December 1, 2015, includes four phases:

Phase I – Congregations in targeted cities will recruit two-to-three Advance Care Planning (ACP) Ambassadors to commit to a six-month advance care planning program. Project faculty and staff from the Center for Practical Bioethics and partners will hold a four-hour training session for ACP Ambassadors at the Samuel Dewitt Proctor Leadership and Lay Conference in Houston on February 15-18, 2016.

Phase II – ACP Ambassadors will design and implement a project to facilitate and complete advance care planning documents in their congregations. Faculty and staff will provide coaching and advice on how to teach their congregants about advance care planning, encourage them to discuss their end-of-life care with their loved ones, and assist them in completing advance care planning documents.

Phase III – Faculty and staff will work with ACP Ambassadors and their community collaborators to organize a one-day Crossing Over Jordan Conference in November 2016, where  the Ambassadors will share their project design and outcomes with the community. 

Phase IV – This phase consists primarily of post-project tracking. Faculty and staff will develop and conduct ongoing surveys of participating congregations for one year following the conclusion of local advance care planning projects to track the project’s impact.

For more information about the project, please contact Leslie McNolty, Program Associate, lmcnolty@practicalbioethics.org or 816-979-1394.





2 National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Facts and Figures: Hospice Care in America, 2014 Edition, p. 5.


Richard Payne, MD, is the John B. Francis Chair at the Center for Practical Bioethics and the Esther Colliflower Professor of Medicine and Divinity at Duke Divinity School, Duke University.

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01/26/2016

Physician Aid-In-Dying – Legal Overview

This new 35-page article from University of Houston law student Christina White provides a nice overview of the legal status of physician aid-in-dying in the United States.  

Here is the abstract:

For a terminally ill patient, physician aid-in-dying (PAD) is about gaining control over an agonizing, terrible death. In most states it is illegal for a doctor to prescribe a lethal dose of medication or advise a patient on taking her own life when she is ready. Only five states have legalized PAD: Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Montana, and, most recently, California. In order for other terminally ill patients to achieve control over their death, PAD should be legalized—and, therefore, regulated—in all states.

PAD could become legal in three ways: 
  1. The U.S. Supreme Court could determine there is a constitutional right for mentally competent, terminally ill, adult patients to seek assistance from their physician to die with dignity
  2. State courts could find either a state constitutional right or a statutory construction permitting PAD
  3. State legislatures, or citizens in states with the option of ballot initiatives, could enact statutes legalizing PAD. 
The best solution for legalizing PAD is a combination of a U.S. constitutional ruling that a right to PAD exists along with state statutes regulating that right.

This Comment proceeds in three parts, and addresses only PAD, not euthanasia. Part II discusses the current state of the laws: first analyzing the Supreme Court cases addressing PAD, then considering the state laws legalizing PAD. Following the discussion of the current laws, Part III of this Comment addresses some of the arguments against PAD, and why many of those arguments are not sound. Lastly, Part IV addresses the solutions briefly discussed above.

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

01/25/2016

2016 Minnesota Legislative Preview: Key Health Care Issues

On Friday, February 19, the MSBA Health Law Section is pleased to have two Minnesota legislators opine on the health care landscape of the upcoming session.  Former Speaker of the MN House and current Minority Leader Rep. Pa...

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