Tag: medical futility blog

Blog Posts (688)

June 27, 2015

Art of Hospice [EOL in Art 48]

Last summer, the Louisiana-Mississippi Hospice and Palliative Care Organization held an Art of Hospice competition. The works help make people more aware of hospice and better understand its benefits.
June 26, 2015

Hospice [EOL in Art 47]

June 26, 2015

No Immunity for Providers Who Treated Patient Contrary to Her Advance Directive

In March 2012, clinicians at Doctors Hospital of Augusta intubated terminally ill 91-year-old Bucilla Stephenson and placed her own mechanical ventilation.  This was contrary to Stephenson's advance directive and contrary to the spec...
June 26, 2015

Pluralism, Futility, and Thresholds for Treatment in Intensive Care

The annual meeting of the Australasian Association of Bioethics and Health Law starts today with a keynote plenary by Dominic Wilkinson: "Pluralism, Futility, and Thresholds for Treatment in Intensive Care."
June 25, 2015

Hospice Stamp [EOL in Art 46]

In 1999, the U.S. Postal Service issued the Hospice Care Commerative Stamp to help raise awareness about hospice.

The stamp was designed by veteran stamp designer Phil Jordan to symbolize life’s journey to its final stage, the stage where Hospice lends its vision for end-of-life care.  The Hospice stamp features a large green field in front and a tree beside a while house, with a large yellow and red butterfly flying above. 


June 25, 2015

SNF Fined $400,000 for Blindly Following the Surrogate

Earlier this week, I wrote about a recent CMS investigation in which a hospital wrongly looked to a surrogate even though the patient still had capacity to make her own healthcare decisions.  Today, I summarize a similar case from the DHHS Departmental Appeals Board in which the facility was fine nearly $400,000.

NMS Healthcare of Hagerstown is a skilled nursing facility.  It confined one of its residents and restricted her access to members of her family and others.  NMS did this at the request of the resident's daughter even though there was no medical or other basis for doing so.

The ALJ observed:  "A skilled nursing facility is not excused of its obligations to provide care by the fact that a resident or someone on the resident’s behalf demands that the facility provide a certain type or level of care. The regulations governing skilled nursing facilities do not allow facilities to abdicate their responsibilities to residents in order to cater to the whims of residents’ family members, whether or not they have POAs."

"Moreover, a facility is not inherently a neutral arbiter. There can be a conflict of interest between a facility and its resident. . . . Resident # 4 generated a steady stream of revenue to Petitioner . . . .  Given that potential conflict of interest it was incumbent on Petitioner to be scrupulously neutral in dealing with the resident. Simply going along with JF’s wishes in this case – without independently assessing the resident to determine whether confining her and restricting her access to visitors was appropriate – was anything but neutral."

June 24, 2015

Aid in Dying - Minnesota

To follow-up on yesterday's Minnesota Public Radio show on MN Senator Chris Eaton aid-in-dying, I collect some relevant resources below. Minnesota is one of nearly 30 states, this year, to consider legislation legalizing aid in dying.  Here ...
June 24, 2015

Process of Dying in 6 Paintings [EOL in Art 45]

A Swiss Oncologist shares six paintings by the Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler (1853-1918) in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (2002; 20:7: 1948-50). Hodler painted his wife before, during, and after her illness. He documented her wasting and eventual ...
June 23, 2015

Jahi McMath Malpractice Lawsuit - June 2015 Update

As I blogged here in March 2015, the family of Jahi McMath filed a medical malpractice action against Oakland Children's Hospital and several individual clinicians.   Last week, the lead defendant, otolaryngologist Frederick Rosen, filed a d...
June 23, 2015

Time and Death [EOL in Art 44]

In this terracotta model, Gianlorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) shows Time dominating the skeletal figure of Death.   The Victoria & Albert Museum notes that this conveys the message that the passage of time confirms the immortality of the deceased...

View More Blog Entries