Exploiting despair – the death of Jahi McMath

5 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
With the onslaught of media coverage of the Jahi McMath case it is time for a public debate on whether or not the loss of upper and lower brain function should determine death.  Brain death is the cessation of any brain activity in the upper brain as well as the lower brain or brain stem. Read More

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

The Case of Baby RM – Court Intervention in Bioethics

9 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
  This is the kind of case that courts dread. Baby RM has congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS) and is on a respirator. The physician supports the mother’s request to terminally extubate. The father implores to the contrary. To make a decision the court must hear evidence, the kind of that will provide a clear picture of 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

Terminal Extubation: Discussion and Protocol By Bernard Freedman, Bioethicist

10 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
  Transparency: The salient ethical, moral and principle necessity to terminal extubation is the transparency of the conduct of all physicians and medical staff, and fundamental understanding by the patient family and or friends as to why it is being done and how it is being done. It is therefore the obligation of the primary 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