Tag: medical futility blog

Blog Posts (1568)

February 26, 2017

Rhode Island Medical Journal on VSED

There is a nice op-ed on VSED in the February 2017 issue of the Rhode Island Medical Journal.   The author (Herbert Rakatansky) encourages facilities to "formulate and have policies about VSED in place."
February 25, 2017

Upcoming VSED Conference

The University of North Carolina Charlotte Ethics Center is cosponsoring a conference at the Center City Building on April 6, 2017 on VSED as an end-of-life care option.   VSED - voluntarily stopping eating and drinking - is a legal option f...
February 24, 2017

Disrupting the Death Care Paradigm: Challenges to the Regulation of the Funeral Industry and the American Way of Death

Wake Forest University School of Law is hosting a symposium today:  "Disrupting the Death
Care Paradigm: Challenges to the Regulation of the Funeral Industry and the American Way of Death."

There have been a number of academic conferences addressing death and deathcare, but this symposium is unique because it is focused on the very active legal, political, and grassroots challenges to the funeral industry and the dominant paradigm of death care in this country. 

There are two main fronts of challenge to the existing paradigm – first, from those primarily concerned with the occupational licensing regime that shapes the funeral industry and the choices available to the public (i.e. court challenges to the casket laws and the ready to embalm laws); and second, from those primarily concerned with promoting new methods of memorialization and disposition. 


Regulated to Death: Re-Imagining the Funeral Services Market -  Tanya D. Marsh, Professor of Law, Wake Forest University School of Law

Taking the Pulse of Funeral Markets: The Effects of Government Regulations and Private Agents on Funeral MarketsDavid Harrington, Himmelright Professorship in Economics, Kenyon College

Economic Liberty: Constitutional Challenges to Funeral Director Licensing LawsJeff Rowes, Senior Attorney, Institute for Justice

There is a Funeral Rule for a Reason: Why it Matters and Why it Needs Modernizing Josh Slocum, Executive Director, Funeral Consumers Alliance

Panel Discussion: Challenges to Regulation of the Funeral IndustryDavid Harrington, Tanya Marsh, Jeff Rowes & Josh Slocum


Jessica Mitford was Wrong Tanya D. Marsh, Professor of Law, Wake Forest University School of Law

Why Caring for Our Own Dead is an Act of Social Justice - Lee Webster, Director, New Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy; President, National Home Funeral Alliance

Basic Cremation: White Bones, Black Boxes, and Alkaline Hydrolysis - Philip Olson, Assistant Professor, Department of Science and Technology in Society, Virginia Tech

A Funeral Entrepreneur’s Experience: What Needs to ChangeAmy Cunningham, Fitting Tribute Funeral Services, New York City

Panel Discussion: Challenges to the American Way of Death - Amy Cunningham, Caitlin Doughty, Tanya Marsh, Philip Olson, & Lee Webster

February 23, 2017

Extreme and Outrageous End-of-Life Communication - Beyond the Bounds of Common Decency

I have read hundreds of complaints in end-of-life medical treatment conflicts.  But I have never seen allegations like those in Wilson v. University of Alabama Health Services Foundation.  

I teach the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress in my Torts class.  This is a textbook example.  The family is seeking $10 million in punitive damages.

90-year-old Elizabeth Monk Wilson was taken to UAB Hospital with a "full measures" advance directive.  The clinicians there disagreed with that plan and thought that only comfort measures were appropriate.  But the way in which they conveyed that to the patient is simply beyond belief.  Here are just a few examples from the complaint.

"You’re eaten up with colon cancer which is spreading and partially blocked your colon. You are going to die soon. You have lived your life. Accept your death."

"Don’t you understand what I just said? Your mother is dying and we need to send her home. She is 89—let her die. She has lived her life and needs to let go and die. Our time and treatments will be wasted on her. She simply needs to die. She needs to accept it.  You need to accept it. We need to get her out of here and quit wasting everybody’s time."

"I know what is best for you. When you code, the resuscitation attempt will break your ribs violently and cause you great pain and suffering. Why do you want to go through a violent procedure instead of dying? What is wrong with you? Your life is over. Quit fighting your death."

February 23, 2017

Oregon Death with Dignity Act - Data Summary 2016

The Oregon Public Health Division has released Year 19 data on the Oregon Death with Dignity Act.  In 2016, 204 people received prescriptions under the DWDA. As of January 23, 2017, 133 people had died in 2016 from ingesting the prescribed medica...
February 22, 2017

New Legislation Seeks to Prohibit Clinicians from Stopping Life-sustaining Treatment without Consent

In a series of articles, I have described jurisdictions like Idaho, Oklahoma, and Ontario as "red light" states, because they prohibit clinicians from removing life-sustaining medical treatment without surrogate consent. Now spreading across the count...
February 21, 2017

The Convenings - Meaningful Conversations about Living and Dying Well in Minnesota

February 21, 2017

Medicare Spending at End-of-Life Is Declining

Fifteen years ago, nearly 20% of Medicare spending was on patients in their last year of life.  Today, it is less than 13%.   Patients are living longer and older patients tend to spend less on medical care in their final years of life than ...
February 20, 2017

Simon's Law Legislation Introduced in Texas

Senator Perry Last week, the Kansas "Simon's Law" bill got a hearing before a Senate committee.  Just two days earlier, a similar bill was introduced in Texas.  S.B. 883 would add two new sections to the Health & Safety Code. Sec. 166...
February 19, 2017

UK Court Ruling for Clinicians in Medical Futility Dispute

As we explained in Chest last year, UK courts have issued dozens and dozens of published opinions in medical futility conflicts.  This provides significant guidance and clarity as to how these cases should be resolved.   The latest of these ...

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