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Author Archive: Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

About Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD

While all ten MAID jurisdictions in the United States follow the Oregon model, they do not follow it exactly. There are key variations in (1) the waiting periods, (2) the manner of drug administration, (3) opt-out rights, and (4) other dimensions. Haw...

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Ben White and Lindy Willmott argue in the Australian Health Review that legislators need evidence-based law making as they deliberate proposed voluntary assisted dying laws. There has been limited recognition of the value of evidence-based approaches i...

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Twenty-five years ago, Zeke Emanuel and Peggy Battin estimated that widespread access to MAID would save $1 billion (in 2020 dollars). This was a high estimate, because (among other reasons) they assumed a MAID usage rate between 2.7% and 7.0%. I...

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Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics will publish a collection of personal stories from patients who have navigated challenges in creating transition plans for discharge from acute or post-acute care hospitals. Elizabeth Pendo will edit the symposium: "Ethical Challenges in Discharge Planning: Stories from Patients."

Discharge plans are meant to ensure a safe transition home or to another care facility. Patient goals, values, preferences, financial resources, abilities, support systems, and other resources available in the community should be considered. While many discharge decisions go smoothly, conflicts can arise. If not resolved, conflicts can harm patient health and well-being. Harms can include withdrawal, loss of trust, or being kept in institutional settings they do not want or need. 

NIB seeks first-person stories from people who, as patients, are currently or have negotiated challenges in discharge planning about their experience. We want true, personal stories in a form that is interesting and easy to read. Please share this invitation and guide sheet. In writing your story, consider these questions: 

• What surprised you about the experience of developing a plan to leave the hospital? Were there things you did not anticipate? 

• How has the experience affected you physically, emotionally, or economically? 

• What conversations did you have with your doctor, nurse, or discharge team about the plan for discharge? Did they have the information needed to create an appropriate plan? Did you feel your wishes and perspectives were taken into appropriate consideration? 

• Did a doctor, nurse, or member of the discharge team raise concerns in the planning process? Did you raise concerns? What were they? Were those concerns addressed? 

• Were you comfortable with the discharge plan offered? If not, what were the barriers to your preferred plan? 

• What would you like to tell doctors, nurses, and others involved in discharge planning? • What would you like people who develop policies and laws to know about discharge planning? 

You do not need to address each of these questions—write about the issues that you think are most important to share. If you are not a writer, tell your story in your own words and our editorial staff will help you. If you are interested in submitting a story, NIB asks you first to submit a 300-word proposal—a short description of the story you want to tell. Inquiries or proposals should be sent to the editorial office via email:

NIB will give preference to story proposals received by February 24th. If your story is invited, NIB will ask you to submit it within 6 weeks of the invitation. Final stories are 4 – 10 double-spaced pages or 800 – 2000 words. For more information about the journal Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics, the guidelines for authors, and privacy policies, visit our webpage at: 

NIB plans to publish 12 stories on this topic in its print edition; additional stories may be published as online only supplemental material. NIB also publishes 3 – 4 commentary articles that discuss the stories that are published in the journal. To see a finished symposium, please visit Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics' page on Project MUSE and click on the unlocked, open-access issue.

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Diane Rehm's second book on medical aid in dying will be available next month: When My Time Comes - Conversations about Whether Those Who Are Dying Should Have the Right to Determine When Life Should End.

Through interviews with terminally ill patients, and with physicians, ethicists, spouses, relatives, and representatives of those who vigorously oppose the movement, Rehm gives voice to a broad range of people who are personally linked to the realities of medical aid in dying. 

The book presents the fervent arguments–both for and against–that are propelling the current debates across the nation about whether to adopt laws allowing those who are dying to put an end to their suffering. With characteristic even-handedness, Rehm skillfully shows both sides of the argument, providing the full context for this highly divisive issue.

With a highly personal foreword by John Grisham, When My Time Comes is a response to many misconceptions and misrepresentations of end-of-life care; it is a call to action–and to conscience–and it is an attempt to heal and soothe our hearts, reminding us that death, too, is an integral part of life.

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More than three years ago, Roger Kligler filed a lawsuit in Suffolk County Superior Court, Massachusetts, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief that MAID was a legal option.  On December 31, 2019, the court acknowledged that Kliger "presente...

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I am looking forward to presenting "Medical Aid in Dying: Key Variations among U.S. State Laws" at the National Clinicians Conference on Medical Aid in Dying, next month, at U.C. Berkeley.

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On February 5, 2020, Holly Fernandez Lynch will deliver the first Baruch A. Brody Lecture in Bioethics - "Conflicts of Conscience an Implications for Physicians' Gatekeeping Authority." Happily, you can log-on and watch for free.

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Join me at the next Congress of the Word Federation of Right to Die Societies, in Mexico City, from October 27-31, 2020. 

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In 2012, Compassion & Choices (the nation's oldest, largest and most active nonprofit working to improve care and expand end-of-life options) produced a tremendous conference in Chicago. In the participant program book was a crossword puz...

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