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Withdrawing Life Sustaining Treatment – Betancourt v Trinitas – Life, Not Policy

9 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
Ruben Betancourt, 72 years old, was unconscious following the dislodging of a ventilator breathing tube after surgery at Trinitas Medical Center, which resulted in anoxic encephalopathy. He was readmitted to Trinitas in July 2008 with a diagnosis of renal failure. He received dialysis treatments, remained on a ventilator, and feeding tube. The physicians at Trinitas diagnosed Mr. Betancourt Read More

Funding for physician discussion of end-of life decisions

9 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
  Each patient deserves more than a brief discussion about end of life decision-making. In  “A Piece of My Mind” section of this month’s JAMA (volume 303, No.13, April 7, 2010) Paul Kettl M.D. argues for monetary compensation to be provided to physicians for end of life discussion and planning. He fails to make clear, Read More

New York will pass the Family Health Care Decisions Act

9 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
 It has been 17 years since this bill was first introduced.   The New York State Senate will pass the Family Health Care Decisions Act (FHCDA), setting forth clear guidelines for family members and others close to the patient to make medical decisions for incapacitated patients. It will also provide physicians with uniform protocols to follow. Read More

Publically Managed Care found to be Superior to Private Managed Care

9 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
  Boston University School of Public Health researchers reported that older, male patients receiving care from the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) health care systems had better health outcomes than those in privately managed care plans that are part of the government-run Medicare Advantage program using private contracted managed care.    Two surveys were done on Read More

Doctor’s Mothers and Autonomous Choices

9 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
Physicians continue to tell patients what they would do if it were their mother. This is just another form of paternalism and disregard for autonomous decision making. Physicians remain exceedingly reluctant to confront the difficult subject of end of life care. The New York times, on January 11, 2009 published an article, by Denise Grady, Read More

The Proper Role of Bioethics

9 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
  In Bioethics we learn that the patient has a right to make autonomous decisions. There has, however, been a bias built into to applicable legislation in many states, which interprets “autonomy” as the dignity to refuse treatment and avoid what is termed a protracted death. This slant on autonomy and the right to refuse treatment can Read More

A Staged Approach to Withdrawing Life Support

10 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
A South Korean Ethics Committee uses a staged approach to Withdrawing Life Support In follow up to this blog’s April 23, 2009 post: “Letting the Conscious But Incompetent, Non Terminally Ill, Patient Die.” A South Korean hospital used a staged approach to consider the withdrawal of artificial life support based upon the condition of the Read More

Daniel Hauser – and Medical Confidentiality

10 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
I agree with the court’s rulings in the case of Daniel Hauser, highlighted in the media recently. In this case there is as absolute need to continue chemotherapy. It should however be pointed out that the Court ignored Mrs. Hauser’s demand for confidentiality and contributed to this case becoming a spectacle in the media and Read More