Tag: end of life

Blog Posts (60)

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. […]
February 12, 2015

Which Doctor Should Carry Out the End of Life Conversation?

Yesterday, Steve Phillips echoed my support for Dr. Atul Gawande’s book, Being Mortal.  One of Dr. Gawande’s key points is how difficult it can be for doctors to talk with their patients about care at the end of life, when the doctor cannot “fix” the problem.  Steve also raised the difficulty of these discussions in his January 28 post on this blog. This past Tuesday,... // Read More »
February 12, 2015

How to Die in Canada

by Sean Philpott-Jones, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Clinical Leadership Last week, our neighbors to the north took a huge step towards legalizing physician aid-in-dying. On Friday, the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously struck down that country’s ban on the practice, suspending two sections of the Criminal Code that outlawed assisted suicide and […]
February 11, 2015

Debate on Physician Assisted Suicide

Here's a debate on Physician Assisted Suicide at higher than the normal level of discourse. Enjoy!
February 11, 2015

Something to live for

I just finished reading Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal and would recommend it to anyone interested in the issues surrounding death and dying. In the book Gawande comes across as both a caring physician and an engaging author. He weaves together the things he has learned about how we die and stories of the lives of a number of people as the live out the... // Read More »
February 5, 2015

What Drives Physician Support for PAS?

On January 8, I wrote about increasing physician support for physician-assisted suicide (PAS)—up from 46% of surveyed MDs in 2010 to 54% now.  Only 31% were flatly against it.  The remaining 15% give qualified support—“it depends.” Now, Medscape sends a follow up (registration required), regarding the reasons their surveyed physicians gave for their answer.  The title of this report:  “Is religion why docs are against... // Read More »
January 29, 2015

Wall Street Journal readers weigh in on PAS

Last Saturday, the Wall Street Journal carried an excellent op-ed piece, “Dr. Death Makes a Comeback” (subscription required), by Dr. Paul McHugh, former chief psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins Hospital.  In it, Dr. McHugh opposes physician-assisted suicide (PAS), making three key points: The practice will tend to spread beyond terminally ill people to those who are “treatable but mentally troubled.”  He appeals to the experience in... // Read More »
January 28, 2015

End of life conversations

Having conversations with patients about death are difficult. Sometimes I think we need to talk, but the patient or family does not seem to be ready. I suspect that sometimes the patient wants to talk, but I am not sensitive to that. Sometimes a patient clearly has a terminal illness, but the patient or the family is in denial. Sometimes different physicians approach the patient... // Read More »
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 17, 2015

Can Safety, Freedom And Rationing Co-Exist For The Elderly?

by Susan Mathews, Bioethics Program Alumna (2014) In a recent op-ed article, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, former Special Advisor for Health Policy to the Obama Administration, stated that he did not want to live beyond the age of 75. At that point, his productive life would be over and he become a burden rather than a benefit to […]