Hot Topics: End of Life Care

Blog Posts (119)

August 23, 2018

My Advance Directive: A Narrative Approach

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

One of my summer projects has been to undertake the most dreaded of adult tasks, updating my last will and testament and advance directive.…

July 1, 2018

A Few Words on the Saga of Jahi McMath

by James Zisfein, MD
A few words on the saga of Jahi McMath, the teenager who became brain dead from a surgical complication, whose family refused to accept that determination, and whose heart has stopped and is now dead by everyone’s definition:
The fact of McMath’s death over 4 years ago should not be in question.…
June 4, 2018

BioethicsTV (May 30, 2018): #CodeBlack Patient racism and DNRs

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Code Black (Season 3; Episode 5): Patient Racism

A middle-aged-white patient needs an appendectomy. As he is being wheeled to surgery, he is beside the chief of surgery and a new trauma surgery resident.…

May 11, 2018

Family-Physician Conflict on Medical Treatment: The Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans Cases

by John J. Paris, SJ

The widely publicized conflicts between families and physicians over treatment decisions for profoundly compromised children in the recent Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans cases revive topics as old as the history of Western medicine on who should determine medical treatment and on what standard.…

April 30, 2018

Are Organ Donors Really Dead: The Near-Irrelevance of Autoresuscitation


by Robert M. Veatch, Ph.D.

In 2017, 10,288 people in the U.S. donated organs after they died. Most were pronounced dead using brain criteria, but 1883 were declared dead the old-fashioned way (using circulatory criteria) because their hearts had stopped beating.…

April 27, 2018

BioethicsTV (April 23-27): #TheResident, #ChicagoMed, #CodeBlack

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Resident (Season 1; Episode 11): Placebos, CYA, Office politics; Chicago Med (Season 3; Episode 17): Promise-making, Denial Brain death (PVS or coma); Code Black (Seasons 3; Episode 1): Do no harm, HIPAA

The Resident (Season 1; Episode 11): Placebos; CYA; Office politics

We learn that the hospital’s motto is “Incredible things are happening here.” That’s ironic because the incredible clearly isn’t meant to be seen in a positive light.…

April 6, 2018

BioethicsTV (April 2-6): #ChicagoMed; #GreysAnatomy

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Chicago Med (Season 3; Episode 14): Record checking; off label use; scope of practice; Grey’s Anatomy (Season 14; Episode 18): Experimental treatment; Saying goodbye

Chicago Med (Season 3; Episode 14): Record checking; off label use; scope of practice
Psychiatry resident Dr.…

March 30, 2018

BioethicsTV (March 26-30): #TheGoodDoctor; #ChicagoMed

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.
The Good Doctor (Season 1; Episode 18-Season Finale): Medical errors and battery; Chicago Med (Season 3; Episode 13): Who gets the heart?…

March 22, 2018

BioethicsTV (March 19-23): The Good Doctor, The Resident, Chicago Med

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Good Doctor (Season 1; Episode 17): Cost of healthcare, stealing identities, dating patients; The Resident (Season 1; Episode 8): Patient Dumping; Chicago Med (Season 3; Episode 12): Pedophilia; Cherry-picking; ECMO; teenage pregnancy

The Good Doctor (Season 1; Episode 17): Cost of healthcare, stealing identities, dating patients

In the first storyline,  a patient, “Lucy,” comes to the ER with a post-op infection: She never filled her antibiotic prescription.…

March 17, 2018

BioethicsTV: (March 9-14): Mary Kills People; The Good Doctor; The Resident

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

  1. Mary Kills People (Season 2; Episode 1): Helping the healthy to die

This season picks up where the last season left off, with Desmond in prison and Mary carrying on helping people die.…

View More Blog Entries

Published Articles (20)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 9 - Sep 2018

In Defense of “Denial”: Difficulty Knowing When Beliefs Are Unrealistic and Whether Unrealistic Beliefs Are Bad J. S. Blumenthal-Barby & Peter A. Ubel

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 9 - Sep 2018

We Convey More Than We (Literally) Say Jason N. Batten, Bonnie O. Wong, William F. Hanks & David Magnus

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 8 - Aug 2018

Are Organ Donors Really Dead: The Near-Irrelevance of Autoresuscitation Robert M. Veatch

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 5 - May 2018

Responding to Those Who Hope for a Miracle: Practices for Clinical Bioethicists Trevor M. Bibler, Myrick C. Shinall Jr. & Devan Stahl

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 1 - Mar 2018

“God is the giver and taker of life”: Muslim beliefs and attitudes regarding assisted suicide and euthanasia Chaïma Ahaddour, Stef Van den Branden & Bert Broeckaert

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 18 Issue 2 - Feb 2018

Resolving Ethical Dilemmas in a Tertiary Care Veterinary Specialty Hospital: Adaptation of the Human Clinical Consultation Committee Model Philip M. Rosoff, Jeannine Moga, Bruce Keene, Christopher Adin, Callie Fogle, Rachel Ruderman, Heather Hopkinso & Charity Weyhrauch

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 8 Issue 4 - Dec 2017

Epistemic injustice in dementia and autism patient organizations: An empirical analysis Karin Jongsma, Elisabeth Spaeth & Silke Schicktanz

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 5 - May 2017

Caring for Patients or Organs: New Therapies Raise New Dilemmas in the Emergency Department Arjun Prabhu, Lisa S. Parker & Michael A. DeVita

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 2 - Feb 2017

Irrational Exuberance: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation as Fetish Philip M. Rosoff & Lawrence J. Schneiderman

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 17 Issue 2 - Feb 2017

LVAD-DT: Culture of Rescue and Liminal Experience in the Treatment of Heart Failure Frances K. Barg, Katherine Kellom, Tali Ziv, Sarah C. Hull, Selena Suhail-Sindhu & James N. Kirkpatrick

View More Articles

News (405)

September 3, 2018 1:21 am

John McCain did not 'lose' his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war (NBC News)

A little more than one year has passed since John McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer that carries a grim prognosis. On Saturday, only one day after it was announced that the Arizona senator had decided to “discontinue medical treatment,” he passed away.

August 27, 2018 9:00 am

Physician-Assisted Dying is Now Legal in Multiple Places, But the Taboo Persists (LeapsMag)

Taboo topics occupy a difficult place in the history of medicine. Society has long been reticent about confronting stigmatized conditions, forcing many patients to suffer in silence and isolation, often with poorer care… The most recent issue to face such scrutiny is physician-assisted dying (PAD).

July 2, 2018 3:33 pm

Jahi McMath’s sad saga comes to an end (Mercury News)

Jahi McMath, the Oakland teen whose brain-death case captivated the world while machines kept her breathing, was finally removed from those machines on June 22 in New Jersey after suffering from internal bleeding and kidney issues

May 16, 2018 9:00 am

Judge tosses California law allowing life-ending drugs (ABC News)

A California judge on Tuesday threw out a 2016 state law allowing the terminally ill to end their lives, ruling it was unconstitutionally approved by the Legislature. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia said lawmakers acted illegally in passing the law during a special session devoted to other topics, said lawyers for supporters and opponents. He did not address the legal issue of whether it was proper to allow people to take their own lives, and gave the state attorney general five days to appeal.

March 7, 2018 9:00 am

U.S. Immigration Policy Threatens Shake-Up In Home Health Business (NPR)

On a rare rainy night in Albuquerque, two dozen students are learning the proper way to care for older people. Teacher Liliana Reyes is reviewing the systems of the body — circulatory, respiratory and so on — to prepare them for an upcoming exam. These students are seeking to join a workforce of about 3 million people who help older adults remain in their homes. They assist these clients with things like bathing, dressing, and taking medication on time. About a quarter of these workers are immigrants.

February 23, 2018 9:00 am

Nursing homes sedate residents with dementia by misusing antipsychotic drugs, report finds (CNN)

Former administrators admitted doling out drugs without having appropriate diagnoses, securing informed consent or divulging risks.

February 22, 2018 9:00 am

Intergenerational care: Where kids help the elderly live longer (CNN)

“The children work with and play with the residents every single day,” said Ali Somers, co-founder of Apples and Honey Nightingale, who also heads evaluation and impact for this program. The premise is intergenerational care, providing wisdom to the young and relationships — and, in turn, longevity — to the old.
February 6, 2018 9:00 am

AI can predict when we'll die — here's why that's a good thing (NBC News)

Now, scientists have found a new medical application for AI: predicting when a seriously ill patient admitted to the hospital will likely die. In hospitals, palliative care teams are charged with improving the quality of life of gravely ill patients and making sure their final wishes are carried out. But clinicians sometimes don’t refer their patients to these specialists because they believe their patients are better off than they really are.

January 9, 2018 3:27 pm

Alzheimer’s protein may spread like an infection, human brain scans suggest (Science)

For the first time, scientists have produced evidence in living humans that the protein tau, which mars the brain in Alzheimer’s disease, spreads from neuron to neuron. Although such movement wasn’t directly observed, the finding may illuminate how neurodegeneration occurs in the devastating illness, and it could provide new ideas for stemming the brain damage that robs so many of memory and cognition.

August 23, 2017 9:00 am

Elderly couple got ‘deepest wish’ — to die together — in rare euthanasia case (Washington Post)

Nic and Trees Elderhorst knew exactly how they wanted to die. They were both 91 years old and in declining health. Nic Elderhorst suffered a stroke in 2012 and more recently, his wife, Trees Elderhorst, was diagnosed with dementia, according to the Dutch newspaper, De Gelderlander. Neither wanted to live without the other, or leave this world alone. So the two, who lived in Didam, a town in the eastern part of the Netherlands, and had been together 65 years, shared a last word, and a kiss, then died last month hand-in-hand — in a double euthanasia allowed under Dutch law, according to De Gelderlander.

View More News Items