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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

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

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

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

Kidney Transplants and Informed Consent

9 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
At the 42d meeting of the American Society of Nephrology in San Diego this week, entitled “Renal Week,” Elisa J. Gordon, PhD, MPH, of Northwestern University presented a study on informed consent, that found that  “kidney transplant consent forms are written at considerably higher reading levels than they should be.” She is of the view 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

Life, for some in Texas, is Cheap

10 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE CHAPTER 166.039. PROCEDURE WHEN PERSON HAS NOT EXECUTED OR ISSUED A DIRECTIVE AND IS INCOMPETENT OR INCAPABLE OF COMMUNICATION For the most vulnerable patients, without friends or family, life for some medical patients in Texas, is cheap.  On vague and specious grounds and without proper oversight or transparency, physicians may withdraw Read More