Hot Topics: End of Life Care

Blog Posts (84)

October 18, 2016

BioethicsTV: 10/11-10/17 – Assaulting demented patients, sex trafficking, and surrogate decision-making

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

An occasional column examining the ethical issues raised in television medical dramas.

On Code Black (Season 2; Episode 3) the most important ethical issue was very brief, not taking more than about 2 minutes of screen time.…

September 30, 2016

BioethicsTV: Community Research Consent and Competing for an Infant Heart

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In the fall premiere of Code Black, military trauma surgeons are visiting the hospital on an annual pilgrimage to share what they have learned treating battlefield injuries.…

September 25, 2016

Assisting Persons in Hospice to Cast Early Absentee Ballots

by Steven H. Miles, MD

A friend of mine is dying of metastatic cancer. She does not have long to live; she will possibly die before the end of this year.…

July 1, 2016

BioethicsTV: The Night Shift Needs More Sleep

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Summer is a slow time for television and especially for the medical drama. One show that has been filling this warm weather slot is The Night Shift, a fairly uninteresting and poorly done drama.…

June 8, 2016

BioethicsTV: Grace and Frankie Kill Their Friend

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

The Netflix series Grace and Frankie ended its second season with an end-of-life dilemma. The show has been hailed for its portrayal of active, interesting, and vibrant older characters and its embracing of families of all sizes, types, and colors.…

May 20, 2016

BioethicsTV: Week of May 20 – Assisted suicide, public health crisis management, and making promises

Chicago Med
In its first season finale (episode 18), Dr. Downey arrives in the emergency department in distress—he is bleeding from his liver as a side effect from his cancer treatment.…

May 12, 2016

Euthanasia for Reasons of Mental Health

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

An article in the (UK) Daily Mail this week focused on a Dutch woman who chose euthanasia “after doctors decided her post-traumatic stress and other conditions were incurable.” Under Dutch euthanasia laws, a physician can end a patient’s life with a lethal injection for mental suffering.…

April 26, 2016

Legal history ignored by opponents of medically assisted death

by Stuart Chambers, Ph.D.

In a recent article in the National Review, author and lawyer Wesley Smith takes issue with what he describes as an unprincipled attack against Not Dead Yet (NDY), an American disability rights organization.…

April 14, 2016

Review Your Directives this National Healthcare Decisions Day

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), a day dedicated to advance care planning—having conversations about end of life care and perhaps completing advance directives.…

April 6, 2016

BIOETHICSTV: Chicago Med-BIID, post mortem egg retrieval, scope of practice and forgiveness

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

This week on Chicago Med brought 3 new ethical issues as well as the unsatisfying resolution to a story arc.…

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Published Articles (9)

AJOB Primary Research: Volume 7 Issue 3 - Jul 2016

A pilot study of neonatologists' decision-making roles in delivery room resuscitation counseling for periviable births Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds, Fatima McKenzie, Janet E. Panoch, Douglas B. White & Amber E. Barnato

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 7 Issue 1 - Apr 2016

A Closer Look at Health Care Providers' Moral Distress Regarding the Withdrawal of Artificial Nutrition and Hydration Kari Esbensen

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 8 - Aug 2015

Persistent Problems in Death and Dying David Magnus

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 8 - Aug 2015

The Texas Advanced Directive Law: Unfinished Business Michael Kapottos & Stuart Youngner

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 1 - Jan 2015

Ethical Obligations and Clinical Goals in End-of-Life Care: Deriving a Quality-of-Life Construct Based on the Islamic Concept of Accountability Before God (Taklīf) Aasim Padela & Afshan Mohiuddin

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 8 - Aug 2014

Brain-Dead and Pregnant in Texas Thomas Wm. Mayo

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 3 - Mar 2013

Withdrawal of Nonfutile Life Support After Attempted Suicide Samuel M. Brown, C. Gregory Elliott & Robert Paine

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 3 - Mar 2013

Suicide and the Sufficiency of Surrogate Decision Makers Hywote Taye & David Magnus

AJOB Neuroscience: Volume 4 Issue 1 - Feb 2013

Communicating with the Minimally Conscious: Ethical Implications in End-of-Life Care Kathrine Bendtsen

News (389)

October 21, 2016 8:00 am

The dangers of euthanasia-on-demand (Chicago Tribune)

If the Dutch Cabinet gets what it wants, citizens who feel they have a “completed life” soon will be able to request public support for help in ending their lives. It is a frightening precedent that other nations ought not follow, and a policy the Dutch ought to reject.

September 23, 2016 8:00 am

Researchers Confront an Epidemic of Loneliness (NY Times)

The woman on the other end of the phone spoke lightheartedly of spring and of her 81st birthday the previous week. “Who did you celebrate with, Beryl?” asked Alison, whose job was to offer a kind ear. “No one, I…” And with that, Beryl’s cheer turned to despair.

July 6, 2016 8:05 am

Few Young Doctors Are Training To Care For U.S. Elderly (NPR)

At Edgewood Summit retirement community in Charleston, W.Va., 93-year-old Mary Mullens is waxing eloquent about her geriatrician, Dr. Todd Goldberg. “He’s sure got a lot to do,” she says, “and does it so well.” West Virginia has the third oldest population in the nation, right behind Maine and Florida. But Goldberg is one of only 36 geriatricians in the state.

June 28, 2016 8:31 am

End-Of-Life Care Better For Patients With Cancer, Dementia: Study Finds (Kaiser Health News)

A new study offers surprising findings about end-of-life care — specifically, physicians tend to be more likely to accommodate the advanced-care wishes of patients with cancer or dementia than renal disease, congestive heart failure, pulmonary disease or frailty.

June 20, 2016 8:53 am

Canada Legalizes Physician-Assisted Dying (NPR)

After weeks of debate, Canadian lawmakers have passed legislation to legalize physician-assisted death. That makes Canada “one of the few nations where doctors can legally help sick people die,” as Reuters reports.

June 10, 2016 8:38 am

Who May Die? California Patients and Doctors Wrestle With Assisted Suicide (New York Times)

Beginning Thursday, California will be the fourth state in the country to put in effect a law allowing assisted suicide for the terminally ill, what has come to be known as aid in dying. Lawmakers here approved the legislation last year, after Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old schoolteacher who had brain cancer, received international attention for her decision to move to Oregon, where terminally ill patients have been allowed to take drugs to die since 1997.

May 24, 2016 8:36 am

Just 5% of Terminally-Ill Cancer Patients Fully Understand Prognosis, Study Finds (ABC News)

Just a fraction of terminally-ill cancer patients fully understood their prognosis according to a new small study published today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

May 18, 2016 8:04 am

How Much Time Is Left? Doctors, Loved Ones Often Disagree (US News)

Loved ones acting on behalf of critically ill patients are often more optimistic about outcomes than physicians. But not necessarily because they don’t grasp the gravity of the case, new research suggests.

May 13, 2016 8:41 am


Andrew Levy’s parents knew that the rare and deadly cancer in his blood could not be
beaten, so they began to prepare for the worst. Then something mysterious happened.

April 28, 2016 9:53 am

Taking Sperm From the Dead (The Atlantic)

Post-mortem sperm extraction gives widows the chance to have children with the recently departed.

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