Bioethics.net » End of Life Care http://www.bioethics.net Where the World Finds Bioethics Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:32:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 de Beauvoir’s A Very Easy Death http://www.bioethics.net/2014/07/de-beauvoirs-a-very-easy-death/ http://www.bioethics.net/2014/07/de-beauvoirs-a-very-easy-death/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 04:50:33 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=52031 My dissertation advisor recommended that I read Simone de Beauvoir’s A Very Easy Death when I was writing my dissertation on ambivalence.  Apparently de Beauvoir was ambivalent towards her mother. But when I read that book, I wasn’t struck by quotations on ambivalence, but by these. They speak for themselves and are absolutely moving, haunting, and manage to so accurately capture so much about human experience—especially the experience of witnessing others’ deaths, hospitalizations, and suffering.

When picking out her mother’s funeral clothes:  “Before, I went through all this without seeing it. …

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Critical Care Challenge: Dying with Dignity in the Intensive Care Unit http://www.bioethics.net/news/critical-care-challenge-dying-with-dignity-in-the-intensive-care-unit/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/critical-care-challenge-dying-with-dignity-in-the-intensive-care-unit/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 17:55:10 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=51908 http://www.bioethics.net/news/critical-care-challenge-dying-with-dignity-in-the-intensive-care-unit/feed/ 0 MEDICAL FUTILITY, THEN AND NOW http://www.bioethics.net/2014/06/medical-futility-then-and-now/ http://www.bioethics.net/2014/06/medical-futility-then-and-now/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 17:22:16 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=51830 by Barron H. Lerner, M.D., Ph.D.

When an article promoting the idea of medical futility appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 1990, my father was thrilled.  He believed the term was an apt description of the end-stage cases he too often saw as an infectious diseases consultant, in which he was expected to prescribe progressively more complicated antibiotic regimens to severely ill patients with no hope of recovery.

The concept of medical futility has achieved mixed success.  Advocates have promoted it as a way to discourage aggressive treatment of medical conditions that are not reversible. …

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End-of-Life Doc Payment Plan Returns to the Fray http://www.bioethics.net/news/end-of-life-doc-payment-plan-returns-to-the-fray/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/end-of-life-doc-payment-plan-returns-to-the-fray/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 18:01:57 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=51715 http://www.bioethics.net/news/end-of-life-doc-payment-plan-returns-to-the-fray/feed/ 0 National Healthcare Decisions Day: The Need to Reach New Audiences http://www.amc.edu/BioethicsBlog/post.cfm/national-healthcare-decisions-day-the-need-to-reach-new-audiences http://www.amc.edu/BioethicsBlog/post.cfm/national-healthcare-decisions-day-the-need-to-reach-new-audiences#comments Thu, 22 May 2014 02:05:57 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?guid=d2a60c3eefcdf29ea530f79e293400d7 http://www.bioethics.net/2014/05/national-healthcare-decisions-day-the-need-to-reach-new-audiences/feed/ 0 What we are forgetting in the case of Jahi McMath: Culture and its impact on medical decision-making http://www.bioethics.net/2014/05/what-we-are-forgetting-in-the-case-of-jahi-mcmath-culture-and-its-impact-on-medical-decision-making/ http://www.bioethics.net/2014/05/what-we-are-forgetting-in-the-case-of-jahi-mcmath-culture-and-its-impact-on-medical-decision-making/#comments Tue, 20 May 2014 06:35:09 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=51617 by Keisha Ray, Ph.D.

Like many others, I followed the very unfortunate case of Jahi McMath. McMath is a 13 year-old black child who went into cardiac arrest and suffered irreparable brain damage after undergoing a tonsillectomy to relieve sleep apnea. Her story was frequently in the news as a battle between Children’s Hospital Oakland, where her surgery was held and whose recommendation to discontinue all life-saving practices conflicted with her parents’ desires to keep her on life support. This battle of conflicting desires has different components, with the major components being legal and medical.…

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‘Right to Try’ laws spur debate over dying patients’ access to experimental drugs http://www.bioethics.net/news/right-to-try-laws-spur-debate-over-dying-patients-access-to-experimental-drugs/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/right-to-try-laws-spur-debate-over-dying-patients-access-to-experimental-drugs/#comments Mon, 19 May 2014 18:46:57 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=51614 http://www.bioethics.net/news/right-to-try-laws-spur-debate-over-dying-patients-access-to-experimental-drugs/feed/ 0 For elderly hospital patients, CPR often has poor outcome: study http://www.bioethics.net/news/for-elderly-hospital-patients-cpr-often-has-poor-outcome-study/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/for-elderly-hospital-patients-cpr-often-has-poor-outcome-study/#comments Fri, 09 May 2014 23:58:29 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=51571 http://www.bioethics.net/news/for-elderly-hospital-patients-cpr-often-has-poor-outcome-study/feed/ 0 Lawmakers propose incentives for end-of-life planning http://www.bioethics.net/news/lawmakers-propose-incentives-for-end-of-life-planning/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/lawmakers-propose-incentives-for-end-of-life-planning/#comments Tue, 06 May 2014 19:44:42 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=51504 http://www.bioethics.net/news/lawmakers-propose-incentives-for-end-of-life-planning/feed/ 0 New York Medical Futility Bill Highlights Wide Variation in U.S. End-of-Life Decisions Laws http://www.bioethics.net/2014/05/new-york-medical-futility-bill-highlights-wide-variation-in-u-s-end-of-life-decisions-laws/ http://www.bioethics.net/2014/05/new-york-medical-futility-bill-highlights-wide-variation-in-u-s-end-of-life-decisions-laws/#comments Mon, 05 May 2014 15:55:09 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=51494 by Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

On May 1, 2014, New York State Senator Kemp Hannon introduced S.B. 7156, to amend the 2010 Family Healthcare Decisions Act.  It is a fine bill that will modestly improve New York law.  In this blog post, I will explain both current New York law and the changes that S.B. 7156 would make.  But my main objective in analyzing this bill is to highlight the significant variability in U.S. end-of-life decisions laws concerning medical futility.…

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Lessons for the Future of Primary Care from Robin Cook’s Cell http://www.bioethics.net/2014/05/lessons-for-the-future-of-primary-care-from-robin-cooks-cell/ http://www.bioethics.net/2014/05/lessons-for-the-future-of-primary-care-from-robin-cooks-cell/#comments Thu, 01 May 2014 07:28:23 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=51465 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

I just finished reading the popular fiction novel Cell by Robin Cook. This medical thriller revolves around George Wilson, a radiology resident who finds people dying suddenly after receiving diagnoses of terminal illnesses including his fiancé and next-door-neighbor. The catch is that all of these people were beta testers for a new mobile app called iDoc. A technology company developed this program to be a personal primary care physician. iDoc can answer all of your health questions, monitor your vital signs, and even give you a dose of insulin through an implantable reservoir.…

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Senator Advances Bill To Pay Medicare Beneficiaries to Register Advance Directives http://www.bioethics.net/2014/04/senator-advances-bill-to-pay-medicare-beneficiaries-to-register-advance-directives/ http://www.bioethics.net/2014/04/senator-advances-bill-to-pay-medicare-beneficiaries-to-register-advance-directives/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:56:52 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=51397 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) along with Senators Christopher Coons (D-DE) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced a bill to the U.S. Senate (S. 224) that would “encourage Medicare beneficiaries to voluntarily adopt advance directives guiding the medical care they receive.”  The regulations for this bill are to be created by a broad group of stakeholders.

Specifically, the bill would:

(a) Establish an Advance Directive Certification Program
(b) Accredit vendors of online and written stored advance directives
(c)  Provide an incentive for completing an advance directive.…

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National Health Care Decisions: A Week of Dying in America http://www.bioethics.net/2014/04/national-health-care-decisions-a-week-of-dying-in-america/ http://www.bioethics.net/2014/04/national-health-care-decisions-a-week-of-dying-in-america/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:26:41 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=51364 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

This week is host is National Healthcare Decisions Day. The goal of this April 16th event is to “inspire, educate, and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.” Events are being held nation-wide to encourage people to complete advance directive forms as well as to have conversations with their friends and family about end-of-life health care wishes.

The latest study shows that 26% of people in general have completed advance directives.…

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National event urges Americans to plan for the end http://www.bioethics.net/news/national-event-urges-americans-to-plan-for-the-end/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/national-event-urges-americans-to-plan-for-the-end/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:08:11 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=51338 http://www.bioethics.net/news/national-event-urges-americans-to-plan-for-the-end/feed/ 0 Is a patient ‘vegetative?’ The crucial answer may be quite wrong. http://www.bioethics.net/news/is-a-patient-vegetative-the-crucial-answer-may-be-quite-wrong/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/is-a-patient-vegetative-the-crucial-answer-may-be-quite-wrong/#comments Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:04:42 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=51336 http://www.bioethics.net/news/is-a-patient-vegetative-the-crucial-answer-may-be-quite-wrong/feed/ 0 Mother of brain-dead Jahi McMath says daughter is ‘still sleeping’ http://www.bioethics.net/news/mother-of-brain-dead-jahi-mcmath-says-daughter-is-still-sleeping/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/mother-of-brain-dead-jahi-mcmath-says-daughter-is-still-sleeping/#comments Fri, 28 Mar 2014 18:46:07 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=50981 http://www.bioethics.net/news/mother-of-brain-dead-jahi-mcmath-says-daughter-is-still-sleeping/feed/ 0 Crowdsourcing medical decisions: Ethicists worry Josh Hardy case may set bad precedent http://www.bioethics.net/news/crowdsourcing-medical-decisions-ethicists-worry-josh-hardy-case-may-set-bad-precedent/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/crowdsourcing-medical-decisions-ethicists-worry-josh-hardy-case-may-set-bad-precedent/#comments Mon, 24 Mar 2014 18:34:20 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=50943 http://www.bioethics.net/news/crowdsourcing-medical-decisions-ethicists-worry-josh-hardy-case-may-set-bad-precedent/feed/ 0 Death Panels: Can We Handle the Truth? http://www.bioethics.net/2014/03/death-panels-can-we-handle-the-truth/ http://www.bioethics.net/2014/03/death-panels-can-we-handle-the-truth/#comments Mon, 17 Mar 2014 22:57:13 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=50864 by Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

In December, I defended the term “death panel” on this blog.  Specifically, I demonstrated that we already have, and for over 50 years have had, quite a number of tribunals that act as death panels.  For example, at least daily, UNOS denies potentially life-saving organ transplant requests.  While the term “death panel” has a pejorative connotation, the essential concept and function is necessary.  Particularly in situations of strict scarcity, life and death decisions must be made. …

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Company Makes Drug Available To Ailing Boy Following Public Outcry http://www.bioethics.net/news/company-makes-drug-available-to-ailing-boy-following-public-outcry/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/company-makes-drug-available-to-ailing-boy-following-public-outcry/#comments Thu, 13 Mar 2014 19:41:34 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=50835 http://www.bioethics.net/news/company-makes-drug-available-to-ailing-boy-following-public-outcry/feed/ 0 How LaCrosse Wisconsin sets a new example when it comes to Advance Directives http://www.amc.edu/BioethicsBlog/post.cfm/how-lacrosse-wisconsin-sets-a-new-example-when-it-comes-to-advance-directives http://www.amc.edu/BioethicsBlog/post.cfm/how-lacrosse-wisconsin-sets-a-new-example-when-it-comes-to-advance-directives#comments Mon, 10 Mar 2014 03:03:19 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?guid=d3c12f585ca3e2bb33fef9f74f0d7aae http://www.bioethics.net/2014/03/how-lacrosse-wisconsin-sets-a-new-example-when-it-comes-to-advance-directives/feed/ 0 Mom: Hopeful signs seen in teen called brain dead http://www.bioethics.net/news/mom-hopeful-signs-seen-in-teen-called-brain-dead/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/mom-hopeful-signs-seen-in-teen-called-brain-dead/#comments Thu, 20 Feb 2014 22:47:46 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=50639 http://www.bioethics.net/news/mom-hopeful-signs-seen-in-teen-called-brain-dead/feed/ 0 Brain-dead pregnant woman to be laid to rest after being removed from life support http://www.bioethics.net/news/brain-dead-pregnant-woman-to-be-laid-to-rest-after-being-disconnected-from-life-support/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/brain-dead-pregnant-woman-to-be-laid-to-rest-after-being-disconnected-from-life-support/#comments Mon, 27 Jan 2014 22:45:10 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=50347 http://www.bioethics.net/news/brain-dead-pregnant-woman-to-be-laid-to-rest-after-being-disconnected-from-life-support/feed/ 0 What’s at issue in Texas battle over brain-dead pregnant woman http://www.bioethics.net/news/whats-at-issue-in-texas-battle-over-brain-dead-pregnant-woman/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/whats-at-issue-in-texas-battle-over-brain-dead-pregnant-woman/#comments Fri, 24 Jan 2014 19:02:31 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=50309 http://www.bioethics.net/news/whats-at-issue-in-texas-battle-over-brain-dead-pregnant-woman/feed/ 0 Ethicists criticize treatment of brain-dead patients http://www.bioethics.net/news/ethicists-criticize-treatment-of-brain-dead-patients/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/ethicists-criticize-treatment-of-brain-dead-patients/#comments Fri, 10 Jan 2014 19:34:41 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=50075 http://www.bioethics.net/news/ethicists-criticize-treatment-of-brain-dead-patients/feed/ 0 It’s the Ventilator’s Fault http://www.bioethics.net/2014/01/its-the-ventilators-fault/ http://www.bioethics.net/2014/01/its-the-ventilators-fault/#comments Fri, 10 Jan 2014 14:55:25 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=50069 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D

If you were from a foreign nation looking at the United States news right now, you would think that this was a nation that had declared war on death. Or perhaps we could state it better as a total denial of death. In California, Jahi McMath, a teenage girl who has been medically and legally dead for nearly a month (death certificate was issued December 12) has been moved to an unnamed facility and given surgical procedures to introduce air, water, and food more easily while her body continues to degrade and decay.…

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Brain Death Really Is Death http://www.bioethics.net/news/brain-death-really-is-death/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/brain-death-really-is-death/#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2014 22:02:19 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=50065 http://www.bioethics.net/news/brain-death-really-is-death/feed/ 0 Defining Brain Death http://www.bioethics.net/news/defining-brain-death/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/defining-brain-death/#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2014 21:59:39 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=50064 http://www.bioethics.net/news/defining-brain-death/feed/ 0 The Year in Bioethics That Was http://www.bioethics.net/2014/01/the-year-in-bioethics-that-was/ http://www.bioethics.net/2014/01/the-year-in-bioethics-that-was/#comments Wed, 01 Jan 2014 21:05:33 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=50059 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Happy New Year. The ending of one year and the beginning of another is often a time for reflection, for reviewing the year that has passed and for making plans/predictions for the year to come. 2013 was the first full year of the re-launch of the bioethics.net editor’s blog as well.

Ten bloggers in addition to myself worked for us this year and we are thankful for their contributions: Maurice Bernstein, Arthur Caplan, Jennifer Chevinsky, Nanette Elster, Ellen Fox, Jessica Jerome, David Magnus, Steven Miles, Kayhan Parsi, and Thaddeus Pope.…

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Distinguishing Science from Nonsense http://www.bioethics.net/2013/12/distinguishing-science-from-nonsense/ http://www.bioethics.net/2013/12/distinguishing-science-from-nonsense/#comments Tue, 31 Dec 2013 21:18:46 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=50055 by Arthur Caplan, Ph.D.

As Americans enter 2014 there is grave concern among our political leaders that we are lagging behind other nations in terms of our children’s’ scientific literacy.  This past December an international survey confirmed—too many American kids don’t understand science and they continue to fall behind children from other nations, many much poorer than we are in science and math skills.

Students in the United States slipped deeper in the last international science literacy rankings amid fast-growing competition abroad. …

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“Getting On” provides a look at aging and dying http://www.bioethics.net/2013/12/getting-on-provides-a-look-at-aging-and-dying/ http://www.bioethics.net/2013/12/getting-on-provides-a-look-at-aging-and-dying/#comments Thu, 26 Dec 2013 04:36:52 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=50052 by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

This has been a rich year for depictions of end-of-life and assisted living  in television this year. Back in August, I reported on a PBS series looking at life in assisted living and just last month I wrote about a Showtime documentary series about people at the end of life. The year in television is also ending with another show about the end-of-life, this one produced by HBO where all 6 episodes are available. Getting On is the story of 3 nurses and their demoted medical director, who run a woman’s rehabilitation unit affiliated with a hospital.…

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Death, brain death, and life support http://www.bioethics.net/2013/12/death-brain-death-and-life-support/ http://www.bioethics.net/2013/12/death-brain-death-and-life-support/#comments Wed, 25 Dec 2013 18:26:04 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=50050 by Arthur Caplan Ph.D.

Concepts matter in doing the right thing in medicine.  This could not be more obvious then the utter confusion on display over the concepts of ‘brain death’ and ‘life support technology’ that has resulted in two dead people being kept on artificial life support in California and Texas.

In Oakland, California 13 year old Jahiu McMath has been maintained on machines since an elective tonsillectomy went horribly wrong on December 9.  She has been in the ICU on life-support at the Children’s Hospital since then.…

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Bioethicist: Girl’s tragic case can’t change reality of brain death http://www.bioethics.net/news/bioethicist-girls-tragic-case-cant-change-reality-of-brain-death/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/bioethicist-girls-tragic-case-cant-change-reality-of-brain-death/#comments Thu, 19 Dec 2013 18:56:55 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=50028 http://www.bioethics.net/news/bioethicist-girls-tragic-case-cant-change-reality-of-brain-death/feed/ 0 Top 10 North American Death Panels http://www.bioethics.net/2013/12/top-10-north-american-death-panels/ http://www.bioethics.net/2013/12/top-10-north-american-death-panels/#comments Mon, 16 Dec 2013 17:36:58 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=50005 by Thaddeus Pope, JD PhD

The term “death panel” is slippery.  It has been used either to describe or to disparage a rather motley group of initiatives and entities.  Here, I review the top ten North American “death panels.”  While common, applying the term “death panel” in the first two instances is inaccurate and misleading.  Indeed, most popular usage of the term “death panels” remains mere calumny.  But, sometimes, the “death panel” nomenclature is actually befitting.  In the remaining eight cases, the term “death panel” fits reasonably well.…

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When Parents Disagree With the Doctor http://www.bioethics.net/2013/12/when-parents-disagree-with-the-doctor/ http://www.bioethics.net/2013/12/when-parents-disagree-with-the-doctor/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 05:21:19 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=49975 by Craig Klugman, PhD

“You are considered sane until you disagree with the doctor” is an old adage in clinical ethics circles. We rarely question a patient’s ability to make decisions if the patient’s choice agrees with what the physician wants. I have had several cases where I’ve been asked to look at capacity issues for a patient showing signs of dementia. When I asked who consented for that patient’s procedures to that point, the response was usually, “the patient.” This incongruence seemed to escape notice.…

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When Less is More—Saying No to the Technological Imperative at the End of Life http://www.bioethics.net/2013/12/when-less-is-more-saying-no-to-the-technological-imperative-at-the-end-of-life/ http://www.bioethics.net/2013/12/when-less-is-more-saying-no-to-the-technological-imperative-at-the-end-of-life/#comments Thu, 05 Dec 2013 22:08:36 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=49950 Nanette Elster, JD, MPH

Bioethicist and octogenarian Daniel Callahan wrote an op-ed in the New York Times this week about society’s quest to extend life. He opined, “Adding years to a life doesn’t necessarily make it any fuller.”  I understand Callahan’s view.  I recently assumed the role of healthcare power of attorney for an elderly relative who suffered a traumatic brain injury compounding a previously existing dementia.   I have posed a similar question to Callahan’s observation to every healthcare provider I have encountered during my relative’s most recent hospitalization. …

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Cuthbertson v. Rasouli: Limited Guidance from Supreme Court of Canada http://www.bioethics.net/2013/11/cuthbertson-v-rasouli-limited-guidance-from-supreme-court-of-canada/ http://www.bioethics.net/2013/11/cuthbertson-v-rasouli-limited-guidance-from-supreme-court-of-canada/#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 17:05:19 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=49891 by Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

On October 18, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada issued its long-awaited opinion in Cuthbertson v. Rasouli.  Many lawyers and ethicists have already offered significant commentary on the case.  So, after briefly summarizing the litigation and the ruling, I will proceed to draw some important, but less obvious, observations and implications.

Summary of the Case
Cuthbertson v. Rasouli was a typical medical futility dispute.  The patient, Hassan Rasouli, has been a patient in Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center for over three years, dependent on life-sustaining treatment. …

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How Doctors Die: Showing Others the Way http://www.bioethics.net/news/how-doctors-die-showing-others-the-way/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/how-doctors-die-showing-others-the-way/#comments Tue, 19 Nov 2013 23:01:28 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=49860 http://www.bioethics.net/news/how-doctors-die-showing-others-the-way/feed/ 0 “Time To Die” Means Time to Talk http://www.bioethics.net/2013/11/time-to-die-means-time-to-talk/ http://www.bioethics.net/2013/11/time-to-die-means-time-to-talk/#comments Wed, 13 Nov 2013 07:35:50 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=49785 by Craig M. Klugman, Ph.D.

Media images of dying surround us everyday. In an average hour of dramatic television, bodies fly across the screen as they are shot, knifed, bled, disintegrated, run over, and even decapitated. Heroes in these shows regularly kill the bad guys and in one case, the hero is the bad guy as serial murderer. And that’s before the news comes on.

While we are surrounded by death in our entertainment, these depictions have been blamed for numbing us to mortality and make us less likely to stare death in the face.…

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Paralyzed Hunter Chooses to End Life Support http://www.bioethics.net/news/paralyzed-hunter-chooses-to-end-life-support/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/paralyzed-hunter-chooses-to-end-life-support/#comments Thu, 07 Nov 2013 18:42:00 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=49751 http://www.bioethics.net/news/paralyzed-hunter-chooses-to-end-life-support/feed/ 0 Texas woman with cancer pressuring experimental drug maker for “compassionate” access http://www.bioethics.net/news/texas-woman-with-cancer-pressuring-experimental-drug-maker-for-compassionate-access/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/texas-woman-with-cancer-pressuring-experimental-drug-maker-for-compassionate-access/#comments Mon, 23 Sep 2013 19:47:12 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=48941 http://www.bioethics.net/news/texas-woman-with-cancer-pressuring-experimental-drug-maker-for-compassionate-access/feed/ 0 Stop Therapeutic Obstinacy: Penalties for Administering Futile ICU Interventions http://www.bioethics.net/2013/09/stop-therapeutic-obstinacy-penalties-for-administering-futile-icu-interventions/ http://www.bioethics.net/2013/09/stop-therapeutic-obstinacy-penalties-for-administering-futile-icu-interventions/#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 17:36:45 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=48886 by Thaddeus Pope JD Ph.D.

Intensive care clinicians and clinical ethicists have long known that the provision of interventions perceived to be “futile” is a major problem in U.S. hospitals.  Medical futility is frequently reported to be a leading reason for ethics consultations.  Last week, a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine further quantified the prevalence and cost of interventions perceived to be “futile.”

In the study, a “futile” intervention was defined as treatment administered in situations satisfying one or more of five conditions:

  1. The burdens grossly outweigh the benefits.
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Long-term care panel suggests cutting 3-day hospital stay rule for SNFs http://www.bioethics.net/news/long-term-care-panel-suggests-cutting-3-day-hospital-stay-rule-for-snfs-read-more-long-term-care-panel-suggests-cutting-3-day-hospital-stay-rule-for-snfs/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/long-term-care-panel-suggests-cutting-3-day-hospital-stay-rule-for-snfs-read-more-long-term-care-panel-suggests-cutting-3-day-hospital-stay-rule-for-snfs/#comments Sat, 14 Sep 2013 16:04:20 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=48849 http://www.bioethics.net/news/long-term-care-panel-suggests-cutting-3-day-hospital-stay-rule-for-snfs-read-more-long-term-care-panel-suggests-cutting-3-day-hospital-stay-rule-for-snfs/feed/ 0 Almost One-In-Five Intensive Care Patients May Be Getting Futile Treatment http://www.bioethics.net/news/almost-one-in-five-intensive-care-patients-may-be-getting-futile-treatment/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/almost-one-in-five-intensive-care-patients-may-be-getting-futile-treatment/#comments Wed, 11 Sep 2013 19:20:32 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=48786 http://www.bioethics.net/news/almost-one-in-five-intensive-care-patients-may-be-getting-futile-treatment/feed/ 0 Anthony Yahle, Ohio Man, Comes Back To Life After Being Declared Dead http://www.bioethics.net/news/anthony-yahle-ohio-man-comes-back-to-life-after-being-declared-dead/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/anthony-yahle-ohio-man-comes-back-to-life-after-being-declared-dead/#comments Fri, 23 Aug 2013 21:12:35 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=48643 http://www.bioethics.net/news/anthony-yahle-ohio-man-comes-back-to-life-after-being-declared-dead/feed/ 0 Near death experiences could be surge in electrical activity http://www.bioethics.net/news/near-death-experiences-could-be-surge-in-electrical-activity/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/near-death-experiences-could-be-surge-in-electrical-activity/#comments Mon, 12 Aug 2013 19:34:53 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=48513 http://www.bioethics.net/news/near-death-experiences-could-be-surge-in-electrical-activity/feed/ 0 Rebuttal to Jason Manne re Dangerous Catholic Attack on POLST http://www.bioethics.net/2013/08/rebuttal-to-jason-manne-re-dangerous-catholic-attack-on-polst/ http://www.bioethics.net/2013/08/rebuttal-to-jason-manne-re-dangerous-catholic-attack-on-polst/#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 23:36:02 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=48473 This is a brief rebuttal to Jason Manne’s recent response to my post “ Dangerous Catholic Attack on POLST .”

Manne’s letter misses the point. First, POLST is not just a form but also a process and conversation. And POLST is continually improving: (1) through conducting a range of research projects to determine best practices, (2) through enhancing education, and (3) through quality assessment. POLST Paradigm continues to work toward better patient-centered care by encouraging advance care planning conversations, for those nearing the end of their lives, to ensure that clinicians honor both patient wishes to receive and patient wishes to limit treatment.

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The Television Truth of Assisted Living http://www.bioethics.net/2013/08/the-television-truth-of-assisted-living/ http://www.bioethics.net/2013/08/the-television-truth-of-assisted-living/#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2013 13:35:56 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=48438 Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

When I was a child, every Sunday afternoon was dominated by a visit to Grandma in the nursing home. Today, we would call the place a “skilled nursing facility.” For a kid, this was not how I wanted to spend a weekend day. There were lines of people in wheelchairs “parked” against the walls. Those who would talk at all complained about the food, their medications, the staff, or their families. You had to speak quietly and sit still.…

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In Response to Professor Thaddeus Pope’s article “Dangerous Catholic Attack on the POLST?” http://www.bioethics.net/2013/07/in-response-to-professor-thaddeus-popes-article-dangerous-catholic-attack-on-the-polst/ http://www.bioethics.net/2013/07/in-response-to-professor-thaddeus-popes-article-dangerous-catholic-attack-on-the-polst/#comments Thu, 25 Jul 2013 19:33:49 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=48359 Dear Sir or Madam:

I read with interest Professor Thaddeus Pope’s article ”Dangerous Catholic Attack on the POLST?”  The title of that article is insensitive inasmuch as the words “dangerous Catholic” imply a religious bias that I am sure was not intended.  Beyond this Pope’s article warrants rebuttal because it overstates the evidence supporting the form and is misleading.

Professor Pope asserts that “a number of scientifically rigorous studies have demonstrated POLST’s material benefits.”  This is an exaggeration. There are only two scientifically rigorous studies of the POLST and these are large NIH funded studies in which a POLST advocate was the principal investigator. …

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Dangerous Catholic Attack on POLST http://www.bioethics.net/2013/07/dangerous-catholic-attack-on-polst/ http://www.bioethics.net/2013/07/dangerous-catholic-attack-on-polst/#comments Fri, 19 Jul 2013 18:53:29 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?p=48274 Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD PhD

The Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) program is proving to be a highly effective mechanism for assuring that the life-sustaining treatment seriously ill patients want is the same treatment those patients get.  A number of scientifically rigorous studies have demonstrated POLST’s material benefits.  And a growing number of states have been adopting POLST through legislation, regulation, or clinical consensus.  But despite this notable quality improvement, a number of Catholic leaders and organizations have called on Catholic healthcare facilities to “not accept POLST forms and to decline to participate in POLST programs.”

POLST is a tool for translating patient’s goals of care into medical orders so that they are easily located and portable across care settings. …

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Wisconsin court upholds parents’ convictions in prayer death http://www.bioethics.net/news/wisconsin-court-upholds-parents-convictions-in-prayer-death/ http://www.bioethics.net/news/wisconsin-court-upholds-parents-convictions-in-prayer-death/#comments Thu, 04 Jul 2013 18:49:08 +0000 http://www.bioethics.net/?post_type=news&p=47911 http://www.bioethics.net/news/wisconsin-court-upholds-parents-convictions-in-prayer-death/feed/ 0