Tag: medical futility blog

Blog Posts (1297)

June 28, 2016

Physicians More Willing to Administer Futile Treatment Requests when Based on Religion

The June 2016 issue of the Journal of Pain & Symptom Management includes "U.S. Physicians’ Opinions About Accommodating Religiously   Based Requests  for  Continued  Life-Sustaining Treatment."

The authors report survey results showing that physicians appear to give more deference to requests that are linked in a clear way to religious commitments.

In contrast, physicians give less deference to expectations for a miracle.  While religious claims fall outside physician expertise, hope  for miracles seem more arbitrary and idiosyncratic and counterclaim physician medical authority.

June 27, 2016

Legal Standards for Brain Death under Attack

My new article, "Legal Standards for Brain Death" was just published in the Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 13(2), 173-178 (2016). A major appellate court decision from  the United States seriously questions the legal sufficiency of prevailin...
June 26, 2016

Parliamentary Committee Recommends Protection for Physicians Withdrawing Futile Treatment

The Parliament of Victoria Legal and Social Issues Committee recently released a 350-page report, "Inquiry into End of Life Choices."  It is heavily focused on palliative care, advance care planning, and assisted dying.   Recommendation 29 c...
June 25, 2016

Support Medical Futility Blog

I am preparing to move this blog to its own new top-level domain.   If you find the content useful, please consider making a small donation.
June 24, 2016

Christ Disputing with the Doctors

This painting (National Gallery of Scotland) from the 1400s depicts "Christ Disputing with the Doctors."  The conflict between religion and medicine is a common theme in many recent brain death and futility conflicts.  
June 23, 2016

Santa Claus Revives Dead Children

I was surprised to see this Gerard David painting at the National Gallery of Scotland.  The 1510 painting from the Netherlands depicts St. Nicholas dressed as a bishop reviving three boys who had been murdered and salted down for meat during a fam...
June 22, 2016

Public Education and Misinformation on Brain Death in Mainstream Media

The results of this study in Clinical Transplantation should come as no surprise.  Mainstream media provides poor education to the public on brain death.  The authors argue that because public understanding of brain death impacts organ and t...
June 21, 2016

Five Active Brain Death Cases in US Courts

There are at least five ongoing US court cases involving brain death.  They can be grouped into three categories: Is Family Consent Required for the Apnea Test? 1.  Alex Pierce (San Bernardino County, California Superior Court, though thi...
June 21, 2016

Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Brain Death

Several weeks ago, Harvard Bioethics produced a recorded seminar on "Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Brain Death." 

The panelists were Qing Yang, MD, PhD (Department of Anesthesia, Massachusetts General Hospital) and Robert D. Truog, MD (Director, Center for Bioethics and Professor of Medical Ethics, Anaesthesiology & Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School; Senior Associate in Critical Care Medicine at Children’s Hospital Boston).

Even in the US, some controversy persists over the conceptual defensibility of brain death. Around the world, the philosophical defensibility of brain death is even more debatable. Watch as Dr. Qing Yang presents data regarding the adoption of brain death in China. She discusses cultural differences between Chinese and US medical professionals and patients that inform policy and law when it comes to brain death. Dr. Bob Truog, a prominent brain death critic, replies.



June 20, 2016

Medical Devices after Cremation

This picture from NPR tells a huge story.  It depicts a hip replacement and other metal pieces from medical devices that survive the fire of cremation.

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