Blog Posts (6)
May 21, 2014
<p>The seventh annual <a href="http://www.nhdd.org/">National Healthcare Decisions Day</a> (NHDD) was held on April 16<sup>th</sup> of this year, and events at national, state and local levels were held to educate people about the importance of advance care planning and encourage participants to complete advance directives. Providing resources and information that drives home the message about how important it is to let others know one’s preferences for healthcare and end of life care is intended to promote conversation and documentation of these wishes which are then implemented when the individual is no longer able to express preferences for themselves. But does it do enough to generate interest in those who prefer to avoid such unpleasantries?</p>
<p class="MsoNormal">Repeated studies show that advance directive completion rates are low in the US. People simply do not like to talk about end of life, and it is not clear that the NHDD, however well intended, is making the topic any more palatable. Designating a day to recognize the importance of advance directives is an important start, and the materials are often excellent. <a href="https://www.agingwithdignity.org/five-wishes.php">Five wishes</a>, for example, gives a carefully crafted set of questions to help people thoughtfully consider what matters most to them when it comes to medical intervention, particularly in the end of life context. Still, this only works if people come to the table for the conversation.</p>
<p class="MsoNormal"><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px;">The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our <a style="text-decoration: underline; color: #000099;" href="/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong></p>
April 21, 2014
by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.
U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) along with Senators Christopher Coons (D-DE) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced a bill to the U.S.…
March 9, 2014
<p>As a clinical ethicist, many of the requests for assistance that come my way have to do with advance directives, either the lack of any documented wishes, incomplete or unfamiliar forms, or otherwise confusing messages about what a patient truly wants when it comes to life sustaining medical treatment. Too often, my help is needed when the patient is no longer able to tell others what he or she wants and does not want. On one such call, a group of compassionate nurses and I sifted through a charts to see what we could learn about a particular patient’s known wishes. In the course of our conversation, a nurse asked me if I had heard about LaCrosse, Wisconsin where 98% of the town’s population has advance directives. After giving me a quick summary between her own patient charting, delivering meds, and coordinating a pending admission, she printed the article. For anyone who missed it (like me) the link is here: <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/03/05/286126451/living-wills-are-the-talk-of-the-town-in-la-crosse-wis">LaCrosse Wisconsin on NPR</a>.</p>
<p><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px;">The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our <a style="text-decoration: underline; color: #000099;" href="/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong></p>
March 4, 2014
Please, please go read this wonderful and moving and honest cartoon about, among other things, why we don't do end-of-life planning, by longtime and beloved New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast. Really, go read it.
February 18, 2014
Quebec legislators are reportedly within days of passing a law that would permit euthanasia for competent adult patients with incurable disease which causes constant and unbearable physical or mental suffering. The euthanasia-related portion of Bi...
June 13, 2012
Okay, I am probably one of the last people in the United States (no, probably the world) to watch the movie “The Descendants”.…
June 18, 2012 6:43 pm
What he would not want is to be on a ventilator indefinitely, or to have his heart restarted if he had a terminal illness or would end up mentally impaired. Nuances like these, unfortunately, escape the attention of a vast majority of people who have completed advance directives, and may also discourage others from creating directives in the first place. Enter two doctors and a nurse who are acutely aware of the limitations of most such directives. In 2008, they created a service to help people through the process, no matter what their end-of-life choices may be.
February 27, 2012 1:02 pm
More than 80% of patients believe it is important to have their end-of-life wishes in writing, yet less than a quarter of them have accomplished that planning, said a survey of nearly 1,700 California adults released in February. #bioethics #endoflife