Blog Posts (11)
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...
August 6, 2013
This is a brief rebuttal to Jason Manne’s recent response to my post “ Dangerous Catholic Attack on POLST .”
Manne’s letter misses the point.…
February 7, 2013
This year’s first issue of
AJOB Neuroscience includes:
COGNITIVE ENHANCEMENT AND EMOTION
RECONSIDERING DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION
MINIMALLY CONSCIOUS AND END-OF-LIFE CARE
February 6, 2013
Joan Teno and her coauthors' analyzed the Medicare fee-for-service records of more than 840,000
people aged 66 or older who died in 2000, 2005, or 2009. They looked at
where seniors died, what medical services were provided during their las...
January 30, 2013
Maurice Bernstein, M.D.
Coming to the decision that a treatment is futile—meaning that further medical treatment would have no useful result and should not be started or continued—is a decision made with hesitation or at times not at all, either by the patient or family or, unfortunately, even by the physician.…
January 10, 2013
About a year ago, 19-year-old daughter, Danielle Zfat was diagnosed with a brain tumor. On Nov. 25th she was admitted to Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital in Florida. On Jan. 1st her condition worsened and she was placed on life support.&nb...
January 9, 2013
The following is an essay by Marc Newhouse on his mother's use of VSED. Marc Newhouse is a former cellist, nurse, and English teacher. He is now a book author who blogs at Life, Death and Iguanas.
In April of 2010, my...
January 8, 2013
With Melinda Hexum, I just published "Legal Briefing: POLST: Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment." in The Journal of Clinical Ethics 23, no. 4 (Winter 2012): 353-76. Here is the abstract:
This issue’s “Legal Briefing” colu...
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September 23, 2016 8:00 am
The woman on the other end of the phone spoke lightheartedly of spring and of her 81st birthday the previous week. “Who did you celebrate with, Beryl?” asked Alison, whose job was to offer a kind ear. “No one, I…” And with that, Beryl’s cheer turned to despair.
May 21, 2015 3:25 pm
The California Medical Association on Wednesday dropped its three-decade opposition to physician-assisted suicide, possibly paving the way for already-introduced legislation that would make the practice legal for terminally ill patients in the state.
April 23, 2015 5:07 pm
Whether it is cause or effect is unclear, but high morale seems to go along with a longer life, according to a new Scandinavian study.
April 22, 2015 4:55 pm
Physician-assisted suicide is illegal in California. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Sick patients sometimes ask for help in hastening their deaths, and some doctors will explain, vaguely, how to do it.
March 23, 2015 7:43 pm
Physician incentives are needed to improve end of life care in the U.S., health experts said Friday at an Institute of Medicine (IOM) forum.
February 18, 2015 2:55 pm
Florida’s highest court put executions on hold Tuesday while the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether use of a controversial general anesthetic constitutes “cruel and unusual” punishment of condemned killers.
November 5, 2014 3:36 pm
The path forward would seem obvious, if only I knew how many months or years I had left. Tell me three months, I’d just spend time with family. Tell me one year, I’d have a plan (write that book). Give me 10 years, I’d get back to treating diseases.
November 5, 2014 3:36 pm
Palliative care expert Timothy Quill held an intimate conversation with a Stanford neurosurgeon suffering from advanced lung cancer as an example of how physicians should talk to patients with serious illnesses about quality-of-life care.
July 22, 2014 11:28 am
A German court ruled on Tuesday that some people suffering from chronic pain should be able to cultivate their own cannabis “for therapeutic purposes”.
June 23, 2014 1:55 pm
After a long ICU stay because of septic shock and multiple complications, a frail 77-year-old man had a fall and suffered an acute subdural hematoma and hemorrhagic contusion. Twelve days after evacuation of the subdural hematoma, he remains in a coma and is still receiving mechanical ventilation. How should decisions be made about further treatment?
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