Hot Topics: Health Care

Blog Posts (1162)

September 22, 2014

Epistemological Uncertainty & Autonomy

In the September 17, 2014 issue of JAMA Scott Stonington, MD, PhD wrote a remarkable piece entitled “Whose Autonomy?” This short piece should be required reading for everyone in medicine. Stonington discusses the idea of family roles and puts this in light of his anthropological work in northern Thailand. He uses his fieldwork experience to introduce the idea that, when ill, people may not express... // Read More »
September 21, 2014

Health Care Reform Implementation in Minnesota: Mission Advanced But Not Accomplished

September 21, 2014

Careers & Pro Bono Opportunities in Bioethics & Law

September 20, 2014

Population Health: the New Medicine

Below is a modified copy of my response to an informational article that was recently sent by the CEO of our hospital to our medical staff. Many suggested that I make this letter available publicly. Little do they know that I do so on a regular basis! “I want to thank our CEO for forwarding this article to us while simultaneously pointing out its significance... // Read More »
September 20, 2014

Both Sides Now: Living with Dying: An Immersive Arts Experience

Puppetry, theater, visual arts, and more.  A very cool arts experience is happening this weekend in Singapore called Both Sides Now.  The "immersive arts experience" provides the opportunity for the living to encounter dying.  Organizer...
September 20, 2014

Both Sides Now: Living with Dying: An Immersive Arts Experience

Puppetry, theater, visual arts, and more.  A very cool arts experience is happening this weekend in Singapore called Both Sides Now.  The "immersive arts experience" provides the opportunity for the living to encounter dying.  Organizer...
September 19, 2014

Antidepressants: Society duped?

Has our society has been duped about antidepressant medication? It’s estimated that around 10% of the American population is taking an antidepressant. However, a growing body of research seems to indicate that antidepressant medication isn’t much better in the treatment of depression than placebo (sugar pills). The treatment effects of antidepressants may be statistically significant when compared to placebo, but not clinically significant. In other words, if you... // Read More »
September 19, 2014

Heart-Wrenching Words from Beethoven on Deafness

It is an awful irony that Ludwig van Beethoven, who I consider the greatest composer in the history of the world, experienced deafness from an early age, a disability that did not seem to interfere with his musical productivity one … Continue reading
September 19, 2014

Ethical Issues in End-of-Life Care: MacLean Center Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar Series

Check out this amazing roster of nearly 30 world class seminars on end-of-life issues in the MacLean Center's 2014-2015 Interdisciplinary Faculty Seminar Series.

In the past 50 years, medicine has developed new and unprecedented technologies like breathing machines and dialysis that can prevent or delay death. These technologies have changed how people die, where people die, and physicians’ responsibilities to dying patients. During these 50 years, physicians and society have gradually learned how to best apply these life-saving technologies and how to stop them. In the vast majority of cases in which death is anticipated, patients, families and physicians reach prudent and “negotiated” decisions on when to stop aggressive care.

Yet questions remain. Advance directives have not been the panacea they were hoped to be and deciding for patients who are unable to speak for themselves remains painfully difficult for families and practitioners. Newer technologies such as implanted cardiac defibrillators, left ventricular assist devices, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation continue to raise new questions. Euthanasia and physician assisted suicide remain contentious subjects. Even questions that were thought settled, such as brain death and palliative sedation, have generated new controversies. Further, the cost of caring for patients at the end of life continues to consume a large percentage of the health budget, raising questions about the optimal and just use of health care resources.

THE ETHICS OF GLOBAL PALLIATIVE CARE
KATHEY FOLEY
Wednesday, October 8

THE DEFINITION OF DEATH: NEWLY EMERGING CONTROVERSIES
ROBERT VEATCH
Wednesday, October 15

STARTING VERY SMALL: NEWBORN PERSPECTIVES ON THE BIG DECISIONS
PERRIS KLASS
Wednesday, October 22

BEING MORTAL: MEDICINE AND WHAT MATTERS IN THE END
ATUL GAWANDE
Thursday, October 23

VOLUNTARILY STOPPING EATING AND DRINKING: SEPARATING THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF
DANIEL SULMASY
Wednesday, October 29

THE LACK OF CONSENSUS ABOUT FUTILITY
ALAN MEISEL
Wednesday, November 5

TRANFORMING HOW WE CARE FOR THOSE NEAR THE END OF LIFE
SUSAN TOLLE
Wednesday, November 12

COMMUNICATING ABOUT PROGNOSIS AND END-OF-LIFE CARE IN PATIENTS WITH ADVANCED CANCER
JENNIFER TEMEL
Wednesday, November 19

THE FIVE HORSEMEN: MANAGING ‘WICKED’ GLOBAL CRISES
DANIEL CALLAHAN
Wednesday, December 3

SEDATION, CONSCIOUSNESS AND PERSONHOOD: CLINICAL AND ETHICAL PERSPECTIVES IN A PALLIATIVE SETTING
TIMOTHY QUILL
Wednesday, December 10

DONATION AFTER CARDIAC DEATH (DCD): ACADEMIC DISSENT FAILS PATIENTS
TRACY KOOGLER
Wednesday, January 7

THE COST OF END-OF-LIFE CARE
TOMAS PHILIPSON
Wednesday, January 14

MEDICAL STUDENT REFLECTIONS ON CARING FOR DYING PATIENTS
MARK KUCZEWSKI
Wednesday, January 21

WHEN GOOD INTENTIONS AREN’T ENOUGH: BARRIERS TO OPTIMAL END-OF-LIFE CARE
RANJANA SRIVASTAVA
Wednesday, January 28

END-OF-LIFE DECISIONS IN PEDIATRICS: WHY THEY ARE DIFFERENT
JOEL FRADER
Wednesday, February 4

PREDICTING END OF LIFE
BILL MEADOW
Wednesday, February 11

DEMOCRATIC LEGITIMACY AND END-OF-LIFE DECISIONS
DAN BRUDNEY
Wednesday, February 18

THE PROMISE OF A TREATMENT: CARDIAC ARREST AND ITS EFFECT ON CONTEMPORARY MEDICINE
DAN BRAUNER
Wednesday, February 25

ETHICAL OBLIGATIONS AND CLINICAL CARE IN END-OF-LIFE CARE: DERIVING A QUALITY-OF-LIFE CONSTRUCT BASED ON THE ISLAMIC CONCEPT OF ACCOUNTABILITY BEFORE GOD
AASIM PADELA
Wednesday, March 4

TORT LIABILITY IN END-OF-LIFE CARE
NADIA SAWICKI
Wednesday, March 11

ETHICAL ISSUES IN DISCONTINUING LVADS
SAVITRI FEDSON
Wednesday, April 1

IMPROVING QUALITY REDUCES COSTS: ETHICAL ASPECTS OF CARE FOR THE SERIOUSLY ILL
DIANE MEIER
Wednesday, April 8

PERSONS WITH DEMENTIA: ARE THEY THE CANARY IN THE COAL MINE?
JOAN TENO
Wednesday, April 15

WHAT’S SO HARD ABOUT END-OF-LIFE DECISION-MAKING?
PETER UBEL
Wednesday, April 22

A GENERATION LATER: WHY HAS THE END-OF-LIFE DEBATE ENDED?
RICHARD EPSTEIN
Wednesday, April 29

ECMO AS A ‘BRIDGE TO NOWHERE’: ETHICALLY CHALLENGING POIGNANT CASES FROM THE TECHNOLOGICAL EDGE
KEN PRAGER
Wednesday, May 6

LAST EXIT OFF THE CARDIAC FREEWAY: ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS IN PALLIATIVE CARE AND CARDIOVASCULAR IMPLANTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICES
JAMES KIRKPATRICK
Wednesday, May 13

ONE EXPLORER’S MAP INTO THE WORLD OF PALLIATIVE CARE CHAPLAINCY RESEARCH
LINDA EMANUEL
Wednesday, May 20

September 18, 2014

“Financial Toxicity”

Reflecting on cases from her own practice, a practicing oncologist recently suggested this in the Journal of Clinical Oncology:  consider high price a “toxicity,” or adverse side effect, of an expensive drug for cancer, just like nausea, infections, or having one’s hair fall out are toxicities.  Cancer doctors, especially in clinical trials, assess the severity of drug toxicities using an internationally-accepted, periodically-updated scale developed by... // Read More »

View More Blog Entries

Published Articles (17)

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

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 8 - Aug 2013

Treating Patients as Persons: A Capabilities Approach to Support Delivery of Person-Centered Care Vikki A. Entwistle & Ian S. Watt

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 8 - Aug 2013

Justice Between Age Groups: An Objection to the Prudential Lifespan Approach Nancy S. Jecker

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 8 - Aug 2013

Global Aging and the Allocation of Health Care Across the Life Span Norman Daniels

News (1973)

September 15, 2014 5:14 pm

Insurance giants creating massive database of patient records

Two of California’s largest health insurers are partnering to create a massive database of patient medical records.  But the system faces significant technological challenges and privacy concerns.

September 11, 2014 2:54 pm

Health Reform Watch: Study finds fewer deaths after MA health reform

In this edition of Health Reform Watch: Harvard Asst. Professor Ben Sommers explains his widely-quoted study showing a measurable drop in adult deaths in Massachusetts in the wake of the state’s health reform program, the model for the Affordable Care Act.

September 8, 2014 6:47 pm

Top U.S. health adviser wants end to partisan fighting over Obamacare

President Barack Obama’s top health adviser on Monday called for an end to partisan bickering over Obamacare, saying the public and businesses are sending a clear message to Washington that it is time to move on with implementing the law.

August 11, 2014 1:31 pm

Ethical questions emerge over who gets Ebola drug

In a development that raises a host of ethical issues, Spain announced it had obtained a scarce U.S.-made experimental Ebola drug to treat a Spanish missionary priest infected with the killer virus.

July 30, 2014 5:10 pm

Calif. Considers Bilingual Drug Labels

This week California’s Board of Pharmacy will discuss new regulations that would require all pharmacies in California to provide translated labels on prescription drug bottles.

July 22, 2014 3:23 pm

Pregnancy doesn’t drive women doctors out of surgical training

A new study disputes a common stereotype that women who become pregnant during surgical training often drop out of those training programs.

June 18, 2014 2:52 pm

Stroke 'selfie' helps save Canadian woman's life

“The sensation is happening again,” Stacey Yepes tells the camera. “It’s all tingling on left side.”

June 16, 2014 4:37 pm

U.S. health care system ranks last among 11 industrialized nations

Even though it’s the most expensive, the United States’ health care system ranks last among 11 industrialized nations in a new study that examines factors such as quality, efficiency and access to care

May 5, 2014 6:44 pm

Deaths fell after Massachusetts healthcare overhaul: study

When Massachusetts blazed the trail of healthcare reform in 2006 by expanding coverage for the poor and requiring all residents to have health insurance, it may have done more than serve as a model for nationwide reform: it also seemed to save lives, according to a study released on Monday.

May 1, 2014 1:03 pm

Panel Says No to Medicare Coverage for Lung Cancer Screening

After a day’s deliberation, an advisory panel voted last night against recommending national Medicare coverage for annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (CT) in high-risk individuals.

View More News Items