Tag: bioethics

Blog Posts (141)

January 23, 2015

The “End of Life Option Act” Introduced in the California Senate

Today California Senate Bill SB 128 was introduced.  It is described in the press as being comparable to Oregon’s law.  Its status can be followed here.  Apparently (I am betraying my weak knowledge of the civics of my home state here) it is first referred to the California Senate Rules Committee for committee assignment.    I have just downloaded the text and have not studied... // Read More »
January 16, 2015

Physician-assisted suicide, torture, and Hippocrates: He may be old, but (let’s hope) he ain’t dead yet

A recent op-ed piece in the Chicago Tribune avers that Hippocratism is dead; and since Hippocrates’ oath is all that stands in the way of that particular exercise of compassion and patient autonomy known as physician-assisted suicide (PAS), let’s just acknowledge the oath’s irrelevance and wash our hands of it so doctors can get back to the business of killing patients. The oath has “marginal... // Read More »
January 15, 2015

Debating Physician-Assisted Death (i.e.,Physician-Assisted Suicide)

Among the publications I can’t keep up with is the ASCO post, a tabloid-size, 100+ page newspaper that arrives in my mailbox monthly.  But I do peruse it.  December’s offering included a brief summary of a November 2014 debate regarding whether to “Legalize Assisted Suicide,” by the nonpartisan group Intelligence Squared US Debates.   That is the phrase the group used.  It is commonly pointed out... // Read More »
January 14, 2015

Consequentialism and surrogacy

A recent news article reports on a study by researchers at the Center for Family Research at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. The study found that “in the longer term surrogates do not experience psychological problems as a result of being a surrogate.” 34 women had initially been surveyed 1 year after being a surrogate and this study was a follow up of... // Read More »
January 8, 2015

Increasing Physician Support for PAS

Just reporting this week…I will leave it to readers to comment beyond my brief comments here… Just before Christmas, my email inbox included a link (registration may be needed to access) from Medscape to a slideshow describing some results of a survey of 21,000 physicians, 17,000 in the US and 4,000 in Europe.  There was a comparison of 2014 results with prior results from 2010. ... // Read More »
January 2, 2015

Great (if Unrealistic) Expectations

Good ethics begins with good facts. Right decisions and truly informed consent require correct information — or, at the least, the best information we have — and accurate expectations. A review recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine online suggests that this most basic condition for making good decisions is, in many instances of medical decision-making, lacking. The article reviews studies that evaluated patients’ expectations about the... // Read More »
December 19, 2014

Why Don’t Americans Trust Doctors?

It is an oft recited paradox that Americans like the men or women representing them in Congress, while hating Congress as a whole. In fact, respect for Congress is near all-time lows. In what has to be seen as a … Continue reading
December 12, 2014

The people who don’t deserve health care

By all accounts, since the beginning of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, a.k.a. Obamacare), many previously uninsured people now have medical insurance. The ACA has expanded access to health care. However, many millions still do not have medical insurance: some by choice, but many because they still can’t afford it, even under the provisions of the ACA. And there are many others... // Read More »
November 21, 2014

Bioethics Exam

In keeping with the evaluation-obsessed spirit of the time, here is a little bioethics test. No multiple-choice fill-in-the-bubbles here, no simple true/false; but bioethics usually isn’t so simple, is it? So it’s OK if you don’t have a No. 2 pencil, you can still take today’s exam! _______________________ 1. The patient-physician relationship depends on trust, and close observation, and appreciating subtleties, and giving one’s full attention... // Read More »
November 21, 2014

Resident physicians as the key to Do Not Resuscitate orders

At last month’s ASCO Palliative Care conference in Boston, one of the presentations was a survey, done by resident physicians (doctors 1-3 years out of medical school, doing hospital-based, post graduate training) at Tufts Medical Center.  The topic: what their fellow residents thought about conducting conversations with patients about Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders. Some background:  most of the time, these conversations would arise in... // Read More »