Hot Topics: Health Care

Blog Posts (1080)

August 26, 2014

The Anechoic RUC: Some Small Efforts at Reform

I have previously written about the Resource-Based Relative Value Scale Update Committee, or RUC:http://brodyhooked.blogspot.com/2011/05/more-conflicts-of-interest-at-high.htmlhttp://brodyhooked.blogspot.com/2013/07/piling-up-on-ruc-about-time.htmlhttp...
August 26, 2014

Medical Humanities - Initiating the Journey at Xavier University School of Medicine

Dr P. Ravi Shankar has been facilitating medical humanities sessions for over eight years, first in Nepal and currently in Aruba in the Dutch Caribbean. He has a keen interest in and has written extensively on the subject. He has previously written several pieces for the Literature, Arts, and Medicine blog. I have always enjoyed facilitating [...]
August 26, 2014

Will Lowering The Price Of Genetic Testing Raise The Cost Of Medical Care?

The first time scientists sequenced a person’s entire genome, it took more than a decade and cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Currently, such sequencing takes less than twenty-four hours and costs less than $5,000: To put that into perspective, … Continue reading
August 26, 2014

Death: Why the Brain Matters (Video)

This spring, UCLA hosted a mini symposium titled "Death: Why the Brain Matters."  Happily the video is now available.  The speakers were  Alex Capron, Professor, Law and Medicine, USC James Hynds, Senior Clinical Ethicist...
August 25, 2014

Elder Mediation Training in Minneapolis

Next month, the Mediation Center at Hamline University will offer a 20-hour, three day Elder Mediation Training, on September 25, 26 and 27. This program will expand your skills into the growing field of Elder Mediation. The workshop covers ...
August 25, 2014

Limning Autonomy in Surgery

Several years ago while still a surgery resident I was stuck with a needle while operating on a patient with hepatitis C and HIV. The infectious disease team at that institution started me immediately on the latest anti-retroviral cocktail to decrease my chances of becoming infected with HIV. I took the cocktail for about a week and then, unable to tolerate the horrible gastrointestinal side-effects,... // Read More »
August 24, 2014

Patient Modesty: Volume 69

As we continue on communicating about all the issues of patient modesty, I find that I may have been suggesting a wrong approach for my visitors to help resolve these issues: "speaking up"  to physicians and the medical system. "Up" suggests that ...
August 23, 2014

Not-So-Personalized Medicine

Jack E. James, who appears to hail from either Reykjavik University in Iceland or the National University of Ireland in Galway, or both, kindly sent me a copy of a paper published in June in the European Journal of Epidemiology:http://link.springer.com...
August 23, 2014

Supreme Court of Canada - Assisted Suicide Oral Arguments on October 15

Lee Carter
On October 15, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear oral arguments in the case of Lee Carter, et al. v. Attorney General of Canada, et al.  Written  Factums of key parties are available here.

The plaintiffs were terminally ill patients seeking physician aid in dying.  Ms. Kay Carter and the applicant Ms. Gloria Taylor both suffered from intractable and progressive diseases and are now deceased. They had joined with the others in bringing a civil claim before the British Columbia Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Criminal Code provisions against assisted suicide and euthanasia, specifically ss. 14, 21(1)(b), 21(2), 22, 222(1)-222(5), and 241. They focused their case, however, on s. 241, which prohibits aiding another person to commit suicide. 


The plaintiffs succeeded at trial notwithstanding the Supreme Court of Canada's 1993 decision in Rodriguez v. British Columbia (Attorney General) that s. 241 did not infringe Charter rights. A majority of the Court of Appeal, however, allowed the Attorney General of Canada’s (“AGC”) appeal.


The questions to be addressed concern the Canadian  Charter of Rights (Right to life, Equality, Fundamental justice).  Specifically, 

  • Whether trial judge erred in distinguishing Rodriguez
  • Whether the Criminal Code provision prohibiting aiding person to commit suicide infringes the Charter
  • If so, whether such infringement is justifiable 

There are quite a number of interveners.  Their briefs/factums are due August 29. 
  • Attorney General of Ontario
  • Attorney General of Quebec
  • Attorney General of British Columbia
  • Council of Canadians with Disabilities and the Canadian Association for Community Living
  • Christian Legal Fellowship
  • Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network (the 'Legal Network'') and the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario (''HALCO'')
  • Association for Reformed Political Action Canada
  • Physicians' Alliance Against Euthanasia
  • Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
  • Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada
  • Canadian Federation of Catholic Physicians' Societies
  • Dying with Dignity
  • Canadian Medical Association
  • Catholic Health Alliance of Canada
  • Criminal Lawyers' Assocation (Ontario)
  • Farewell Foundation For The Right To Die
  • Association québécoise pour le droit de mourir dans la dignité
  • Canadian Civil Liberties Association
  • Catholic Civil Rights League
  • Faith and Freedom Alliance and Protection of Conscience Project
  • Alliance Of People With Disabilities Who Are Supportive of Legal Assisted Dying Society
  • Canadian Unitarian Council
  • Euthanasia Prevention Coalition and Euthanasia Prevention Coalition - British Columbia
  • Advocates' Society
  • David Asper Centre For Constitutional Rights

August 23, 2014

Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Decides…

I just finished reading a very dry book on organizational theory as applied to reproductive medicine. The book was a Swedish observational study evaluating the sociomaterial aspects of that subspecialty, particularly Swedish IVF clinics. While the book did not directly address ethical issues in reproductive medicine, it did note some of them in passing. One that caught my eye was issue of the choice of... // Read More »