Hot Topics: Health Care

Blog Posts (1888)

May 23, 2015

Jahi McMath - Status in May 2015

On Thursday, Paul A. Byrne published a short article titled "Jahi is Alive - Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition."   Byrne writes that he recently visited Jahi in her home. "Jahi is beautiful. The day that I visited Jahi she had on lip g...
May 23, 2015

Victor Hugo on His Deathbed [EOL in Art 13]

When the poet, playwright, and novelist Victor Hugo died in 1885, Nadar went to his deathbed to make a final image as a memorial.  Nadar's sketch of the death chamber showed that black drapery was tied across a window behind the bed and then to o...
May 22, 2015

Absence of POLST Leads to Criminal Charges

Two New York Fire Department paramedics have been arrested for failing to resuscitate a man on Staten Island. Daniel Ornstein and Joseph Farrell were responding to a "difficulty breathing" call.  The man, who suffered from Lou Gehrig's Disease, w...
May 22, 2015

The Question Isn’t Whether We Are Overdiagnosing Cancer, But How Much

Medical experts now agree that as a result of aggressive screening programs, we have an epidemic of cancer overdiagnosis in the United States. With mammograms finding tiny cancers and PSA tests discovering unpalpable prostate cancers, we are now unearthing some … Continue reading

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May 22, 2015

Dying without Dignity - Investigations by the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman into Complaints about End of Life Care

The UK Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman has just published an alarming report on the end of life care, “Dying Without Dignity.”  It is a painful and sad read.

The report identifies six key themes, all illustrated with case studies
  1. Not recognising that people are dying, and not responding to their needs – if the needs of those who are close to death are not recognised, their care cannot be planned or co‐ordinated, which means more crises and distress for the person and their family and carers.
  2. Poor symptom control – people have watched their loved ones dying in pain or in an agitated state because their symptoms have been ineffectively or poorly managed.
  3. Poor communication – poor communication is an important element in our complaints on end of life care. It is clear that healthcare professionals do not always have the open and honest conversations with family members and carers that are necessary for them to understand the severity of the situation, and the subsequent choices they will have to make.
  4. Inadequate out‐of‐hours services – people who are dying and their carers suffer because of the difficulties in getting palliative care outside normal working hours.
  5. Poor care planning – a failure to plan adequately often leads to the lack of co‐ordinated care, for example, GPs and hospitals can fail to liaise.
  6. Delays in diagnosis and referrals for treatment – this can mean that people are denied the chance to plan for the end of their life and for their final wishes to be met.

May 22, 2015

Marcel Proust on His Deathbed [EOL in Art 12]

In 1922, the photographer Man Ray made a final portrait of Marcel Proust two days after his death.  I love the fact that Proust spent the last night of his life dictating manuscript changes for a section of his famous novel&nbs...
May 21, 2015

Conscience and Proper Medical Treatment

Conscience and Proper Medical Treatment is the topic of several articles in the latest issue of Medical Law Review.
May 21, 2015

Don’t Be Afraid to Team Up with Your Doctor about Healthcare Costs

Here is a fine story in the Los Angeles Times written by Lisa Zamosky about the importance of talking with your doctor about your out of pocket medical costs. Despite high medical costs topping Americans’ list of financial concerns, many … Continue reading

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May 21, 2015

Terminally Ill Patients Visit the Museum [EOL in Art 11]

I have posted 10 paintings that portray death.  Today's "end of life in art" post is a little different.  The art itself (Rembrandt's Self-Portrait with Two Circles) is not about death.  But this image is still relevant and compelling. &...
May 21, 2015

Aid in Dying: An Important Possibility at the End of Life

End of Life Choices New York and the New York Society for Ethical Culture invite you to the inaugural Barbara Swartz End of Life Choices Lecture: "Aid in Dying: An Important Possibility at the End of Life." The speaker will be the ren...

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Published Articles (20)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 4 - Apr 2015

Ideology and Microbiology: Ebola, Science, and Deliberative Democracy Joseph J. Fins

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 2 - Feb 2015

Collectivizing Rescue Obligations in Bioethics Jeremy R. Garrett

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 15 Issue 2 - Feb 2015

Rethinking the Rescue Paradigm Kayhan Parsi

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 9 - Sep 2014

Addressing Dual Agency: Getting Specific About the Expectations of Professionalism Jon C. Tilburt

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 7 - Jul 2014

The Principle of Equivalence Reconsidered: Assessing the Relevance of the Principle of Equivalence in Prison Medicine Fabrice Jotterand & Tenzin Wangmo

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 6 - Jun 2014

Patient and Citizen Participation in Health: The Need for Improved Ethical Support Laura Williamson

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 2 - Feb 2014

Ethical Review of Health Systems Research in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: A Conceptual Exploration Adnan A. Hyder, Abbas Rattani, Carleigh Krubiner, Abdulgafoor M. Bachani & Nhan T. Tran

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 2 - Feb 2014

Connecting Health Systems Research Ethics to a Broader Health Equity Agenda Bridget Pratt

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 9 - Sep 2013

An Ethical Analysis of Mandatory Influenza Vaccination of Health Care Personnel: Implementing Fairly and Balancing Benefits and Burdens Armand H. Matheny Antommaria

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 9 - Sep 2013

Vaccine Mandates Are Justifiable Because We Are All in This Together John D. Lantos and Mary Anne Jackson

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News (1985)

April 20, 2015 4:28 pm

Type, frequency of e-cigarette use linked to quitting smoking

Two new studies looking at whether electronic cigarettes help smokers to quit their deadly habit have found that while some of them can, it depends on the type and how often it is used.

March 19, 2015 1:44 pm

Industry makes $7,000 for each tobacco death: health campaigners

The tobacco industry makes $7,000 for each of the more than 6 million people who die each year from smoking-related illness, the health campaign group World Lung Foundation (WLF) said.

March 13, 2015 6:23 pm

Transgender people face discrimination in healthcare

Many transgender men face discrimination in U.S. healthcare settings, according to a new study.

March 11, 2015 6:29 pm

Online offers of personalized cancer medicine may not be trustworthy

Tumor tests, genetic risk analyses and other products or services sold online as personalized cancer medicine are often not backed by evidence, according to a new U.S. study.

March 10, 2015 6:43 pm

Electric 'noise' treats Parkinson's symptoms

A wearable device that stimulates the sense of balance with electric “noise” could help Parkinson’s disease patients, according to Swedish scientists.

March 9, 2015 6:28 pm

Seeing medical records might ease hospital patients’ confusion

Letting patients see their medical records while they’re in the hospital might ease worry and confusion without extra work for doctors and nurses, a small study suggests.

February 12, 2015 4:30 pm

Disabled elderly decline sharply after ICU

Seniors admitted to the hospital intensive care unit (ICU) were more likely to die or sharply decline soon after their release depending on how well they functioned beforehand, according to a new study.

January 30, 2015 2:50 pm

Obama thinks "precision medicine" will make us healthier. Experts are skeptical.

The White House is committing $215 million to support efforts to develop personalized medicine, a priority the President touched on in his State of the Union earlier this month.

January 29, 2015 2:55 pm

Obama to Request Research Funding for Treatments Tailored to Patients’ DNA

President Obama will seek hundreds of millions of dollars for a new initiative to develop medical treatments tailored to genetic and other characteristics of individual patients, administration officials say.

January 26, 2015 2:49 pm

Golden years? Researcher explores longevity research and the companies banking on its success

Aging research, as we knew it in the 1990s and 2000’s, is being abandoned in favor of something much more ambitious. The central features of longevity research include an embrace of big data, a pivot away from studies hoping to find aging genes, a recognition that aging is best thought of a collection of diseases, not just one disease.

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