Tag: medical futility blog

Blog Posts (1519)

January 15, 2017

A Clinician's Guide to Privacy and Communication in the ICU

Make your staff read this short article in Critical Care Medicine.  So many clinicians believe that HIPAA constrains their ability to communicate with patient's families far more than it really does. This expert analysis helps bust those myths. ...
January 14, 2017

Speaking of Dying - Screening in Saint Paul, MN

Film Screening and Discussion on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 from 7 pm - 8:30 pm at Clouds in Water Zen Center, 455 N Farrington Street, St Paul, MN 55103

Speaking of Dying” captures the importance of individuals and groups   speaking openly about all aspects of the dying process. The interviews and stories in this 30-minute documentary reveal the complexities of end-of-life  choices while demonstrating resources and attitudes that can empower us. Most of all this will help you believe that your can have a peaceful and meaningful ending that will be a gift to you and to your loved ones. 

Facilitated by Laurel Riedel, Advanced Practice RN  speakingofdyingmn@gmail.com or 612-868-4116
Find us on Facebook: Speaking of Dying Minnesota

January 14, 2017

Federal Legislation to EXCLUDE Advance Care Planning under Medicare

Congressman Steve King has re-introduced a bill to exclude coverage of advance care planning services under the
Medicare program. 

Unfortunately, King fundamentally either misunderstands or deliberately mischaracterizes the current program, which is focused on soliciting and honoring the individual's own treatment preferences, not about limiting or constraining choice in any way.

"My legislation prohibits Medicare payments for end-of-life counseling, blocking this harmful regulation before our government imposes yet another life-devaluing policy on the American people. ”   

“A year ago this month, the government increased control over one of the most highly personal healthcare decisions an individual can make when the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) began paying doctors to counsel patients about end-of-life care."

"Allowing the federal government to marry its need to save dollars with the promotion of end-of-life counseling is not in the interest of millions of Americans who were promised life-sustaining care in their older years in exchange for their compelled funding of the program during their working years. 

"Furthermore, this exact provision was removed from the final draft of Obamacare in 2009 as a direct result of public outcry. The worldview behind the policy has not changed since then and government control over this intimate choice is still intolerable to those who respect the dignity of human life."

January 13, 2017

Physician Power to Declare Death by Neurologic Criteria Threatened

My new article with Ariane Lewis is now available from NEUROCRITICAL CARE - "Physician Power to Declare Death by Neurologic Criteria Threatened."

Three recent lawsuits that address declaration of brain death (BD) garnered significant media attention and threaten to limit physician power to declare BD.

We discuss these cases and their consequences including: the right to refuse an apnea test, accepted medical standards for declaration of BD, and the irreversibility of BD.

These cases warrant discussion because they threaten to: limit physicians’ power to determine death; incite families to seek injunctions to continue organ support after BD; and force hospitals to dispense valuable resources to dead patients in lieu of patients with reparable illnesses or injuries.

Physicians, philosophers, religious officials, ethicists, and lawyers must work together to address these issues and educate both the public and medical community about BD.

January 12, 2017

Southeast VSED End-of-Life Choice Conference

Voluntarily Stopping Eating and Drinking - VSED as it is called by Hospice and health providers - is an accessible option for the compassionate easing of the pain, suffering, and humiliation of life-limiting illness. VSED is a legal option in all 50 states for a competent adult who wishes to hasten the onset of their death.

Americans assert that they ought to have the freedom to choose in their daily lives.  And certainly, we all mourn the circumstances that may bring an individual and their loving family to the decision to step away from life. But in the real world, there are times when an individual will reach out for control at the end of their own life.  At such a time, that freedom to choose may involve scheduling the time, deciding the place, and selecting the process that seems appropriate to ease away from life.  

We should all be aware that VSED is unique – it is legal, accessible, and supported by medical personnel in every state in the United States. It is time that we gained more understanding about the various aspects of VSED – for the patient and for the family caregiver. That is the purpose of the  Southeast VSED End-of-Life Choice Conference.

Many will be surprised to learn that once informed about VSED, patients choose to experience it.  VSED allows an individual to comfortably ease away, to still interact with family and friends, and to feel that their passing is a more natural process.  For those who focus on Oregon-style medical-aid-in-dying, they sometimes need to be reminded that thousands of patients will be left without a timely option.  Yet these patients and their families do have the option of compassionate VSED.

Explore the dedicated website on the VSED 2017 Conference.

January 12, 2017

Who Has the Right to Turn Off Donald Trump's Artificial Heart?

In one of his recent Gresham College lectures, Professor Martin Elliott discusses  how with today's medical technology and Donald Trump's money, he might be able to prolong his biological life indefinitely.   Is that appropriate?  Who s...
January 11, 2017

Impact of Law on Medical Practice

In the latest issue of the Journal of Law & Medicine, Lindy Willmott and colleagues measured doctor's attitudes about the role of law in medical practice.   Here are a few highlights: 82% agreed or strongly agreed that "resolving disput...
January 10, 2017

Chayim Aruchim - Charting Rough Waters! Torah True Guidance in End-of-Life Situations

Agudath Israel of America created Chayim Aruchim in 2010 because many of those in end of life situations often found themselves denied care by a growing trend in the medical community that limited or withheld treatment for patients who were considered ...
January 9, 2017

New Jersey Proposes Amending Brain Death Regulations

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has proposed amendments to regulations regarding the declaration of brain death in a patient.    The proposal effectuates P.L. 2013, c. 185 and will amend Board regulations to no longer set forth s...
January 8, 2017

Brain Death Deserves a Fuller and More Public Debate

Margaret Hayden won the 2016 Henry K. Beecher Prize in Medical Ethics.  Her essay, "Negotiating Ambiguities in Life and Death," has some constructive insights for the growing brain death debate.   Hayden notes that "in many ways, the ambigui...

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