Monday, January 31, 2011

Doctor, would you prescribe a pill please?

Matthew Wynia, MD
The Bioethics Channel
January 28, 2011

How do doctors view prescribing drugs to enhance athletic performance?
That's one of the questions addressed in an article published in the January 2011 edition of The American Journal of Bioethics. Lorell LaBoube visits with article co-author Matthew Wynia, MD, the director of the Institute for Ethics at the American Medical Association.

To listen to the podcast click here.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Words Matter: How EOL Rhetoric Undermines Good Palliative Care

Robert Martensen, MD
Bioethics Forum -- The Hastings Center
January 21, 2011

“EOL” is being translated on the ground to “near death.” Treating physicians request palliative care consults near the time of discharge, not at admission, and hospice referrals follow the palliative consults closely in time. Counter to what the program’s sponsors anticipated, palliative care in their hospital tends to function as “hospice lite.”

For more click here.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

25th Anniversary: KC Ethics Committee Consortium

In 1986, the Kansas City Regional Hospital Ethics Committee Consortium was formed to study issues that transcended any one hospital. From these discussions and study, the group developed policy guidelines that addressed ethically complex problems that all hospitals were dealing with.

On January 15, 2011, the consortium met to celebrate its 25th anniversary. A panel composed of individuals who launched the consortium and participated in its early work described how the consortium began and its work today.

Panelists included:

Myra Christopher, President and CEO of the Center for Practical Bioethics
Hans Uffelmann, co-founder of the Center
Rosemary Flanigan
Judge David Waxse

To listen to the panel discussion click here.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Medical Ethics and the Law

Annette Prince, JD

January 21, 2011

What's the state of medical ethics and the law? Lorell LaBoube of the Bioethics Channel visits with Annette Prince of the University of Oklahoma.

Link to podcast here.


Friday, January 21, 2011

When Do Doctors Override a Patient's Wishes?

From our friend Thaddeus Pope at the Medical Futility Blog.


A Minnesota court ruled January 19th that Methodist Hospital must provide kidney dialysis for Albert Barnes, a terminally-ill 85-year-old man whose wife is in a fight with doctors over his care.

The case raises a lot of questions about who should decide who lives and who dies. Since the battle over the fate of Terri Schiavo, federal legislators tightened up laws designed to help clarify end of life decisions.

But the case of Albert Barnes raises a tricky question: When do health care providers override the wishes of their patient?

Link to report: When Do Doctors Override a Patient's Wishes?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Doctor's Religious Beliefs May Influence His End of Life Care

Noted article this week in Sacramento Bee regarding how a doctor's religious belief may influence care.

Reminded us of podcast recorded with John Lantos, MD, formerly the Francis Chair at the Center for Practical Bioethics, and Farr Curlin, MD of the University of Chicago.

It's a nice listen.



A Doctor’s Religious Beliefs May Influence His End of Life Care, Michael Wilkes, M.D., Sacramento Bee, January 16, 2011

Religion and Medicine: Compatible?, Farr Curlin, MD and John Lantos, MD, The Bioethics Channel, 14 minutes 35 seconds


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Developing Independent Senior Living

Kelley Hrabe and Jeremy Whitt
January 14, 2011
16 minutes 38 seconds

A Kansas City Missouri project is now underway to build senior housing for assisted living, memory impaired residents, and seniors living independently. It's called the Rockhill Greens Redevelopment Plan and two developers explain the project in this edition of the Bioethics Channel.

Link to podcast here.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Health Care and Social Justice from the Heartland to Haiti

Helen Emmott, RN
January 14, 2011
17 minutes 1 second

Health care and social justice challenges exist not just in Haiti but in the heartland of America as well. Helen Emmott, a nurse ethicist, explains in this edition of the Bioethics Channel.

Link to podcast here here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King Day

January 17, 2011 is the 25th Anniversary of the holiday honoring one of America’s greatest civil rights leaders. At the Center for Practical Bioethics, the holiday holds special meaning since two or our colleagues were in the middle of the movement in the 1960s.

Sister Rosemary Flanigan was one of the nuns who traveled to Selma, Alabama in 1965. She retired from the Center last summer after 15 years on the Center’s staff. Father Norman Rotert, a member of the Center’s Board of Directors, was a priest who traveled to Selma as well.

Listen to their stories by clicking on the video links below.

Sisters of Selma – Bearing Witness to Change, January 19, 2009

A Sister of Selma Celebrates Martin Luther King’s Birthday, Sister Rosemary Flanigan, You Tube

A Priest Reflects on Martin Luther King, Fr. Norman Rotert, You Tube


Monday, January 10, 2011

Medicare and End of Life Counseling

A back and forth week last week concerning a Medicare policy allowing for physicians to provide voluntary end of life counseling for their patients. The provision went into effect January 1, 2011, then was abruptly withdrawn only a few days later.

Below are links to media coverage of these developments and a podcast featuring John Carney of the Center for Practical Bioethics talking about the future of advance care planning.

The Center continues to support families making practical preparations for care during a serious illness or at the end of life. For more click here.

January 7, 2011

Now you have it, now you don't. It's the Medicare policy that would have paid for end of life counseling as part of an annual wellness visit. John Carney of the Center for Practical Bioethics explains what led to the withdrawal of the provision and where end of life counseling goes from here.


U.S. Alters Rule on Paying for End-of-Life Planning, Robert Pear, New York Times, January 4

Death panels? No, but bad medicine anyway: Obamacare's end-of-life mistake, Dr. Marc Siegel, New York Daily News, January 2

Don’t reignite ‘death panel’ insanity, Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star, January 4


Friday, January 7, 2011

Why not repeal Patient Self Determination Act?

Our friend Thaddeus Pope proposes a provocative step -- repeal of the Patient Self Determination Act.

He states thus: "If the federal government wants to be agnostic and treat advance care planning like abortion and assisted suicide (not allowing federal funds), then why not at least be consistent? Repeal all the federal law that promotes advance care planning."

For his entire post click here.