Tag: Health Care Practice

Blog Posts (154)

February 18, 2017

Advance Care Planning and its Detractors

The default mode of our technologically advanced medicine is to use our technology. Nowhere is this more true than close to the end of life. And our technology is really impressive; with it, we can keep chests going up and down and hearts beating for a long, long time. The troubling thing is that there are many people who would rather not have lots of... // Read More »
February 10, 2017

Apologies and Outcomes

What if a study shows that the course of action we know to be right doesn’t “work”? Or that it may even place us at a disadvantage? When bad things happen to patients in the course of medical treatment, doctors traditionally have avoided apologizing or even expressing sympathy to patients, for fear that such expressions would be used against them in malpractice court as an... // Read More »
February 5, 2017

Excuse Me, Doctor, What Exactly Do You Profess?

The late Edmund Pellegrino, M.D., revered medical educator, ethicist, and physician, often made the point that a professional professes something. Merriam-Webster  confirms that the etymology of the word, profession, includes the Latin for “public declaration.” The Hippocratic Oath, probably penned by members of the Pythagorean sect, according to Ludwig Edelstein (see Ancient Medicine: Selected Papers of Ludwig Edelstein. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987), has for... // Read More »
January 27, 2017

“MAID” and organ donation

An article in the Journal of Medical Ethics (JME) assesses the ethical issues around organ donation by someone who requests assisted suicide or (“voluntary”) euthanasia.  (Subscription or purchase is required for access to the full article.)  The authors, specifically looking at the situation under current law in Canada, refer to assisted suicide and euthanasia with the blanket term “medical assistance in dying,” or “MAID” for... // Read More »
January 20, 2017

Conflicts of Interest in unsuspected places

Patient advocacy organizations — groups such as the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, the Arthritis Foundation — are non-profit organizations that seek to help patients with a specific disease or disorder by providing services to patients, sponsoring research, influencing government and insurance policy, and promoting and promulgating guidelines that are followed by doctors and patients to diagnose and treat disease. They are sometimes... // Read More »
January 12, 2017

Fetal tissue research furor continues

At the end of 2016, the Select Investigative Panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee published its report—all 485 pages—of its investigation into procurement of tissue from aborted fetuses for research.  The investigation had been prompted by the 2015 undercover videos from David Daleiden and his “Center for Medical Progress,” which was adduced to support charges that Planned Parenthood clinics, in particular, had violated... // Read More »
January 5, 2017

“The [Customer] Patient is Always Right?”

I recently received email notification of the 2016 update of the “Medscape Ethics Report: Life, Death, and Pain.”  Follow the link to view a slide set summarizing the results from 7505 surveyed physicians, 63% of whom were female: Physician-assisted suicide (PAS) for “terminally ill patients”: DOCTORS now favor it, 57%-29%, up from 46%-41% in 2010. The proportion saying “it depends” remains at 14%.  What’s driving... // Read More »
November 19, 2016

Pre-Existing Conditions 2.0

Back in 2005, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel co-wrote an article with Dr. Victor Fuchs entitled “Getting Covered”, where the authors described three factors necessary for major healthcare reform: the problem attracts political attention; major players agree upon a refined and feasible solution; and a transforming political event occurs. Their criteria were met with the election of Barack Obama and a Democrat-controlled Congress in 2008, resulting in... // Read More »
November 11, 2016

So…

Colorado didn’t take my advice.  On Tuesday, voters there approved doctor-assisted suicide by a 2-to-1 margin—65% to 35%. Ouch. This is looking like the next social march that may not be stoppable legislatively.  That doesn’t mean people who agree with me on this matter shouldn’t try, but it does seem to mean that we need to prepare for quiet resistance:  really caring for dying people,... // Read More »
November 4, 2016

Dear Colorado: No on 106

The next battle in the war on physician-assisted suicide is up in Colorado on Election Day, next Tuesday.  Voters there will vote on Proposition 106, the Colorado “End of Life Options Act,” which would provide access to medical aid in dying medication.  The link takes one to the text of the proposed law, including revisions; apparently it was previously referred to as “Initiative 145.”  It... // Read More »

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