Hot Topics: Health Care

Blog Posts (1286)

October 23, 2014

Fear and Loathing in Liberia

by Sean Philpott-Jones, Director of the Center for Bioethics and Clinical Leadership Two weeks ago, I wrote a commentary decrying the current hysteria in the US over Ebola. It was ironic, I argued, that so many people were demanding the federal government take immediate steps to address the perceived threat of Ebola while simultaneously ignoring […]
October 23, 2014

Hope vs Realism in Cancer Research

The October 10, 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology carries the article, “Hope and Persuasion During Informed Consent.”  It reports an assessment of informed consent conferences between pediatric oncologists and children with incurable cancer, and their patients, at six centers participating in a Phase 1 clinical trial between 2008 and 2011.  Recall that, in drug development, “Phase 1” refers to the earliest stage... // Read More »
October 23, 2014

Supreme Court’s Decision in Tschumy: Told from the Front Line by the Lawyers Who Litigated the Case

The Minnesota State Bar Association is presenting:  "The Supreme Court’s Decision in Tschumy: Told from the Front Line by the Lawyers Who Litigated the Case."  

The Minnesota Supreme Court recently issued its long awaited opinion in the important case of In re: the Guardianship of Jeffers J. Tschumy.  In a divided opinion, the Court found that a professional guardian can order the removal of life-support from patients without court review, as long as there is no dispute about that decision among interested parties.  The case raised the difficult issue of what powers a guardian has over removing life support when a patient has no hope of recovery.  

Please join the Health Law Section for a discussion of the Supreme Court’s decision by the two attorneys who litigated this important matter.
  • Michael J. Biglow, Law Offices of Michael J. Biglow
  • Robert A. McLeod, Lindquist & Vennum LLP

Friday, November 21, 2014, 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM
River Room / Town and Country Club  Saint Paul
Please join us for breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m.

October 22, 2014

The Ethics of Sperm Freezing for Teenage Boys

<p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">A few weeks ago, I attended the </span><a style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;" href="">annual Oncofertility Consortium conference</a><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"> where Dr. Angel Petropanagos and I presented our poster “Teen Boys and Fertility Preservation: An Ethical Analysis.”</span><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">  </span><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">The vast majority of discussions about fertility preservation (FP), particularly FP for “social” (aka nonmedical) reasons, are focused on women in part because FP for women raises more ethical issues.</span><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">  </span><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">For instance, egg freezing carries more health risks and is generally less effective than sperm freezing. Furthermore, whereas sperm freezing has been an established method of FP for decades, it was only two years ago that the American Society for Reproductive Medicine lifted the experimental label from egg freezing.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">Yet, even established technologies can raise ethical concerns when used in vulnerable groups, such as children. Our research project examines the ethical issues FP raises when used by teenage boys.</span><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">  </span><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">In order to undergo sperm freezing, males must produce a sperm sample and this is usually done through masturbation. However, discussions about masturbation can be embarrassing and difficult for adolescent males (as well as for healthcare providers), particularly if they have never masturbated or never masturbated and achieved an ejaculation. Some parents and healthcare providers place a high value on preserving patients’ future option of genetic reproduction, but FP discussions with teen males can be especially challenging due to the sensitive and private nature of sexuality and reproduction. </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;"><strong style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px; color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px;">The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our <a style="text-decoration: underline; color: #000099;" href="/Academic/bioethics/index.cfm">website</a>.</strong></p>
October 22, 2014

VA Hospital Mistakenly Places DNR Order on Roland Mayo

The Sacramento, California Veterans Affairs Medical Center has admitted to mistakenly placing a do-not-resuscitate armband on patient Roland Mayo.  (USA Today) The patient's daughter said that he was hospitalized for a stent replacement in...
October 21, 2014

Barbara Mancini: Innocent of Assisted Suicide

The Hamline Health Law Institute and Compassion & Choices are pleased to host: Barbara Mancini: Innocent of Assisted Suicide5:30 p.m. Reception 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. PresentationThursday, November 13, 2014Kay Fredericks Roo...
October 21, 2014

North Dakota Personhood Amendment - Impact on End-of-Life Care

On November 4, North Dakota residents will vote on eight ballot initiatives, one of which would amend the state constitution. If passed, the ballot initiative would add a new section to article I of the North Dakota Constitution:  "The ...
October 20, 2014

Multidisciplinary Learning for Medical Students

<p><span style="line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">The clerkship years of medical school expose students to a range of specialties medical practitioners may select as an area of advanced study during residency. Pediatrics, surgery, general medicine, radiology, psychiatry, and more are part of the array of educational exposures students gain from during these rotations. As an educator facilitating discussion groups which provide the opportunity for reflection, questioning, and connecting expectations to the actual experiences, I have found that there are gaps in understanding the roles of other personnel that are essential to the physician role, but not always well defined. As we strive to encourage future physicians to do their best to understand that the business of medicine takes a small village of practitioners in order to work best, we do too little to help them learn the perspective of these other providers. Lectures and readings may offer some insight, but the street-level day to day operations may be a bit of a mystery. I propose clerkship years include time spent working alongside professionals beyond physicians such as pharmacists, billing specialists, security guards, social workers, lab technicians, and visiting nurses. While learners may not be able to fully walk in the shoes of other essential staff members, but being alongside another who is willing to teach and share the tasks, the struggles and rewards of their position. Many med students will someday be in position to lead large groups of staff members in clinics, hospitals, and private offices. Recognizing the unique roles, strengths, and limitations of the non-physicians who contribute to the day to day operations of our vast healthcare industry will help build well rounded doctors who are prepared to be effective leaders. </span></p> <p><strong style="color: #34405b; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 19.0400009155273px;">The Alden March Bioethics Institute offers a Master of Science in Bioethics, a Doctorate of Professional Studies in Bioethics, and Graduate Certificates in Clinical Ethics and Clinical Ethics Consultation. For more information on AMBI's online graduate programs, please visit our <a style="color: #000099; text-decoration: underline;" href="">website</a>.</strong></p>
October 20, 2014

Jean Davies - Successful VSED

Octogenarian Jean Davies, who is also a right-to-die campaigner, successfully used VSED to hasten her death.   She stopped drinking water on 16 September and passed away on 1 October.  (Sunday Times; Independent; Guardian). The fo...
October 19, 2014

VSED Interview - Not Here by Choice with Phyllis Shacter

The End-of-Life University has an online interview series that provides valuable resources and inspiration for the end of life.   On October 23, 2013 (1:00 ET), join Dr. Karen Wyatt and her guest Phyllis Shacter, an advocate for natural dying thr...