Tag: end of life

Blog Posts (69)

June 22, 2015

The Issue of Physician Motive in Physician-Assisted Suicide

Two responses to my June 8th post provide useful points of departure for further discussion about physician-assisted suicide (PAS). The first respondent argued that the Hippocratic Oath states that physicians should not give a “poison,” as opposed to stating that they should not give a “deadly drug.” The respondent’s claim was that inherent in the term “poison” was malintent, which would make the causation of... // Read More »
June 12, 2015

New ATS guidelines on “inappropriate” care

The American Thoracic Society has issued new guidelines regarding requests for treatments that clinicians believe should not be implemented.  Key recommendations: Be proactive in communicating treatment plans and involving specialists in ethics and palliative care, in an attempt to “avoid intractable conflicts.” Limit the use of the word “futile” to interventions “that simply cannot accomplish the intended physiologic goal.”  These should not be provided. Use... // Read More »
June 8, 2015

How Far Can We Fall If There is No Bottom?

A May 26th post in the Bioethics Forum of The Hastings Center asks “Are we reaching a tipping point in the debate over physician aid in dying?” The author cited the case of a Cornell psychologist who opted to commit suicide with physician assistance before Alzheimer’s caused her to lose “all quality of life” and “meaning.” Cases such as these are compelling, because aging, infirmity,... // Read More »
June 4, 2015

Physician-Assisted Suicide Passes California State Senate

California Senate bill SB 128, the “End of Life Options Act,” passed the state Senate today by a 23-14 vote.  The overall makeup of that body is 26 Democrats, 14 Republicans.  I have not yet seen the vote posted to determine whether it passed on a strict party line, or how my (Republican) state Senator voted.   The organization LifeNews.com has a good discussion, which includes... // Read More »
April 25, 2015

The Importance of Advance Directives and Power of Attorneys

This week I had the privilege of job shadowing in the clinical ethics department at a hospital here in Illinois. In clinical ethics, it is impossible to know exactly what your days will look like in advance, since your schedule depends on the varying needs of others in your workplace. There may be several days in a row where no requests for consults come in,... // Read More »
April 3, 2015

Some Responses Regarding PAS

I’ve posted several times on physician-assisted suicide (PAS) over the last 3+ years, including this past January 15, January 22, January 29, February 5, February 12, and March 27. Whew!  I hadn’t realized until I created that list how focused I’d been on the topic this year.  Of course, my thoughts are neither new nor my interest unique; others on this blog, for starters, have... // Read More »
March 28, 2015

Call to Action: Quality of Life

Earlier this month BBC News reported on Chris Graham, a 39-year-old man with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, an extremely rare gene mutation, which killed Chris’ father at 42-years-old. Graham, has a newborn son, to whom he may have passed on the gene mutation, but Graham remains hopeful, saying, “If we can put a man on the Moon then surely we can find a cure for... // Read More »
March 27, 2015

California PAS Bill Passes State Senate Committee

That’s the page 1 story in my local paper this morning (Thursday, March 26).  The California State Senate Health Committee passed SB 128 by a 6-2 margin.  The debate was accompanied by the usual testimonials, including one videotaped by Brittany Maynard before her suicide. Opponents raised appropriate arguments against the bill.  Perhaps the key statement was made by Dr. Warren Fong, president of the Medical... // Read More »
March 23, 2015

Will Ariadne Lead Us Through the Maze of End-of-Life Healthcare?

Note: The Bioethics Program blog will be moving to its new home on April 1, 2015. Be sure to change your bookmarks to http://bioethics.uniongraduatecollege.edu/blog/   by Richard Koo, Bioethics Program Alum (MSBioethics 2011) and Adjunct Faculty About four years ago, Susan D. Block, M.D. posted a blog on Harvard Business Review’s website as part of a series of […]
February 25, 2015

The Man Who Mistook His Life For A Hat

by Jacob Dahlke, Bioethics Program Alum (MSBioethics 2012) Our society tends to put on pedestals the celebrities among us, particular upon their deaths. For author Oliver Sacks, it is no different except that he is not yet dead. He did, however, recently announce in the New York Times that metastasized tumors were found in his body. […]