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Death Panels are Alive

5 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 2
In a major medical center in California a 74-year-old patient who suffered a stroke had been in a coma and on a ventilator for one month. There were a variety of complications and comorbidities. According to his physicians the patient was not in a persistent vegetative state, but in a coma. The physicians recommended that Read More

Making Choices

5 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
New Year resolutions are sometimes easy to make but hard to keep. Resolutions are choices, choices to live on and to better ourselves. For patients who are critically ill, resolve is often in short supply.  So, to physicians reading this I ask that one of your resolutions this coming year is to speak with patients Read More

Waiting to Speak – Waiting for the Surrogate to Speak

6 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
Why Wait The determination of a patient’s capacity to make decisions is based upon her understanding of her disease or illness and the risks and benefits of treatment. If she is unable to articulate a clear understanding it may be determined that she lacks the necessary capacity to make her own decision and is further Read More

Withdrawing Life Sustaining Treatment -From Conscious, Non Terminal, Incompetent Part II

8 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
  Physician Liability: Withdrawing and Withholding Life Sustaining Care From  Conscious, Non Terminal, Incompetent Patients – Part II There are different standards that must be appreciated and respected before a physician can support a decision to withdraw life sustaining treatment from a non terminal and incompetent patient. This scenario requires the highest degree of protection 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

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

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

Letting the Conscious But Incompetent, Non Terminally Ill, Patient Die

10 years ago Bernard W Freedman, JD, MPH 0
It must not be too easy to withhold life sustaining treatment from any patient. When it comes to a conscious patient, who is not suffering from a terminal illness, we have to be unquestionably sure we know what we are doing.      A consulting physician contacted me expressing great concern that a 60 year Read More