The Problem with POLST – Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment

6 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 1
The Problem with POLST Over the years, informed consent has been given short shrift. There is, however, a growing understanding of the importance of obtaining an actual and legitimate consent before  having a patient accept or reject medical treatment. Autonomy, transparency, respect, dignity, and other similarly recognized human rights are increasingly recognized as legal and ethical Read More

Waiting for medical records “after discharge” is of no help for decision making

6 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
  Medical records: Waiting for medical records “after discharge” is of no help.  Reviewing medical records  in the hospital allows the patient and/or a surrogate decision maker to obtain the greatest amount of information possible over the cross section of medical specialties providing care.  It provides a clear picture of the condition of the patient Read More

Autonomy: the Basis of Respect and Dignity

6 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
“Be a good girl and take your medicine.” Part 1 This statement was made to a 60 year old end stage leukemia patient who demanded to be discharged from the hospital. The patient refused the prescribed medications.  No attempt was made to discuss the risks attendant in not taking the prescribed medication. The patient was Read More

FCC adopts rules for Medcial Body Area Networks

7 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
The FCC adopted rules for Medical Body Area Networks (MBANs), with multiple body-worn sensors “MBAN” that monitor blood glucose, pressure monitoring, electrocardiogram readings, and even neonatal monitoring systems. The monitors can be used in the hospital setting, nursing facilities to identify life-threatening symptoms before they reach critical levels. Under Part 95 of Medical Device “MedRadio” Read More

Withdrawing Life Sustaining Treatment – End of Life Care: the Doctor-Patient Relationship A Refusal to Communicate

8 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
  The New England Journal of Medicine recently published an article entitled: “ The Palliative Care Information Act in Real Life,” (NEJM 364;No.20 May 2011), regarding a New York statute that requires a physician to have discussions of end of life treatment options with the patient when the patient is “terminally ill.” Alan Astrow MD and Read More

Rationing Medical Care Part II

8 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
  Efforts to encourage (or compel) physicians to lie to their patients were faced years ago when “gag clauses” were inserted into contracts between HMO’s and contracted physicians. The gag clause established a contractual obligation on the part of the physician to withhold information regarding treatment modalities that were not within the HMO protocol of Read More

Parental Liability for Failure to Seek Care for their Child

9 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
  A verdict was rendered yesterday (Feb. 2, 2010) in Oregon City Oregon finding Jeffrey and Marci Beagley, Oregon City’s Followers of Christ Church, guilty of criminally negligent homicide in the death of their 16-year-old son, Neil. Their son died in June 2008 due to a chronic undiagnosed urinary blockage. Neil became significantly ill about Read More

Same Sex Domestic Partners and Medical Decision Makers

9 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
  The Senate Judiciary and Public Affairs committee in New Mexico passed (5 to 4) the Domestic Partnership Bill – 800 pages long that gives unmarried same-sex and opposite-sex couples the legal protections and benefits of married couples on issues including medical decision-making. It is anticipated that republicans will oppose.   It must be made Read More

Death Panels and Advanced Care Planning

9 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
  A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, discusses the need for effective public health announcements to encourage people to explain their end of life wishes and their values, goals and preferences. It has been well established that physicians are reluctant to discuss end of life choices with their patients Read More