Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ban Obese Workers?

November 29, 2010

Should a person's habits or appearance play a role in whether a company hires them or not? Glenn McGee of the American Journal of Bioethics and the Center for Practical Bioethics; and Jim Copland of the Manhattan Institute discuss the issue.

Link to interview here.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Be Careful How You "Help"

Drew Edmondson
Attorney General-Oklahoma

Be careful how you help when it comes to curbing abuse of prescription drugs. That’s according to Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson.

He writes about it in the November 2010 issue of the American Journal of Bioethics, and he talks about it on the Bioethics Channel with Lorell LaBoube.

Link to podcast here.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Remembering Nancy Cruzan 20 Years Later

Note to podcast subscribers: The URL to subscribe to The Bioethics Channel podcast has been changed. To subscribe anew or re-subscribe, please click on http://thebioethicschannel.libsyn.com/rss.

Chris Cruzan White
Angie Broaddus
Miranda Lewis

It’s hard to believe for many, but it’s been 20 years since Nancy Cruzan died after years of litigation and public strife over the right to withdraw life sustaining treatment.

In this edition of The Bioethics Channel, host Lorell LaBoube takes a look back and what lies ahead with Chris White, Nancy Cruzan’s sister, and her two daughters, Angie Broaddus and Miranda Lewis.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Moreno Delves Depper into Bush and Kass' "Decision Points"

Summer McGee

Fascinated by Bush's moral reasoning when it came to his stem cell decision of August 9th, 2001, Jonathan Moreno delves even deeper into the passages of the former president's autobiography to explore the faulty logic of his position regarding embryonic stem cell research.

In his Science Progress column, Moreno outlines Bush's concerns about moral complicity and how his "splitting the difference", in allowing research on only existing stem cell lines, to his mind anyway, avoided that moral problem of destroying embryos.

For more click here.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Facing Death on PBS Nov 23

How far would you go to sustain your life or the life of someone you love? When the moment comes, and you're confronted with the prospect of "pulling the plug," do you know how you'll respond?

Those questions and many others are addressed in a PBS Frontline program on November 23rd, 2010 entitled Facing Death. In this edition of The Bioethics Channel host Lorell LaBoube talks about the program with Dr. Judith Nelson, professor of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and associate director of Mount Sinai Hospital’s intensive care unit, and the producers for the program, Miri Navasky and Karen O’Connor.


Program Information


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cruzan 20 Years Later: Are We Better Off?

Terry Rosell
Rosemary Flanigan Chair

On November 12-13, over one hundred of us from places across the nation gathered in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. We commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Nancy Beth Cruzan case and implementation of the Patient Self-Determination Act. We asked how health care has changed at the end of life two decades after Cruzan and the PSDA.

Are we any better off? It depends who you ask.

We asked more than a dozen of the brightest and best experts on these matters, and their presentations were, I think, outstanding. Among those who spoke was Chris Cruzan White, Nancy'a sister. Chris’s remarks, along with a video honoring her late parents, Joe and Joyce Cruzan, were compelling as always.

In attendance at the conference were several seminarians, most of them serving African American churches in a pastoral capacity. They attended the conference as a requisite activity of a course in Christian Ethics at Central Baptist Seminary. I conducted a debriefing session with this group following the official adjournment. Their response?

“Why have we not heard these things before, as this information is so important to the African American community?” “If we hadn’t happened to come (on account of the seminary course), you all would have just had another conversation among yourselves. Where are the people of color besides us?” “How do we go about taking what we’ve learned here and spread awareness?”
One pastor has met already with some other clergy colleagues in Topeka, and he aims to convene a planning task force with the possibility of hosting an APPEAL training event http://divinity.duke.edu/initiatives-centers/iceol/resources/appeal#details or something like it, to address palliative and end of life care of African Americans.

Twenty years after Cruzan and the PSDA, are we any better off?

It’s hard to say. Those who attended the conference seem better off for having done so, anyway, if evaluations received are any indication of what happened: “Exceeded all expectations!”

So begins the next twenty years.


Monday, November 15, 2010

KC4 and Clay County MO

Tina Uridge
Executive Director
Clay County Senior Services

Charlie Hughes
Board Vice Chair
Clay County Senior Services

Clay County Senior Services recently awarded a $15,000 grant to the KC4 Aging in Community Initiative to provide educational programs to civic and community leaders about the impact of our aging society.

They talk about it with Lorell LaBoube in this edition of the Bioethics Channel.

Link to podcast here here.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Glenn McGee Was Right: It was Leon Kass' "Decision Point"

Glenn McGee, PhD
Bioethics.net Blog

For that period, as as McGee wrote in a 2003 AJOB editorial, "It [was] the era of Leon Kass", a legacy we are continuing to undo (to our chagrin) to this day.

Link to blog here.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Working with the Aging Workforce

Steven Joiner

14 minutes 4 seconds

America is aging, and America’s workforce needs to adjust to that reality.

That's according to Steven Joiner, a career development specialist who writes and speaks on the issues of aging. He also heads the workforce pillars of the KC4 Aging in Community Initiative.

Link to podcast here.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Challenges of Caregiving

Sandy Silva
Center for Practical Bioethics

Lyn PolkKansas City Chapter - American Red Cross

39 minutes 40 seconds

The statistics around caregiving are daunting … an estimated 120 million adult Americans (57 percent) are either providing unpaid care to an adult family member or friend or have provided this care in the past.

About 22 percent of the population -- approximately 46 million Americans -- is providing care to an adult relative or friend. And more than 138 million Americans -- believe they will need to provide care to someone in the future.

This edition of the Bioethics Channel features Sandy Silva of the Center for Practical Bioethics and Lyn Polk of the American Red Cross discussing caregiving issues on Health Talk on KMBZ Radio in Kansas City.

Link to podcast here.


Monday, November 8, 2010

Playing God Take Two

Terry Rosell

Last week's post about "playing God" reminded of an online article (for mostly Christian clergy readers) at EthicsDaily.com based in Nashville. It was posted back in 2003 when the Raelians were making claims of having cloned "successfully" a baby or two.

I wrote the following in that brief essay titled, "Cloneaid: 'Cloning around' and 'playing God:'"

The commonly heard "playing God" defense against cloning technology has its value as a general reminder of human finitude relative to the divine powers. It also plays well in the media.

But as a means of defining limits within cloning technology, warnings against "playing God" are not all that helpful and are not very compelling to research scientists especially. Raelian researchers may actually gain inspiration from such a slogan.

Christians are in general agreement nowadays that human limits do exist, relative to God and creation, both by mandate and in some ontological sense. But where the boundaries lie in that regard is the harder and disputed question.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Case for Death with Dignity

Twenty years ago, Nancy Cruzan died after years of litigation and public strife over the right to withdraw life sustaining treatment.

In their November 7 edition, the Kansas City Star marked that anniversary with commentaries from two individuals who were intimately involved with the Cruzan case – William Colby, the attorney for the Cruzan family who argued the case to the US Supreme Court, and Myra Christopher of the Center for Practical Bioethics, whose efforts with many others produced the Patient Self Determination Act.

The issues and choices presented by the Nancy Cruzan story remain relevant to this day. In both commentaries, Colby and Christopher call for families to discuss their medical preferences prior to serious illness or the end of life.

A link below will take you to Caring Conversations, a booklet that will help lead you through that conversation and provide peace of mind for your family and loved ones.


It began with a bad car accident, William Colby, Kansas City Star, November 7
It ended with patients’ rights, Myra Christopher, Kansas City Star, November 7
Caring Conversations


Friday, November 5, 2010

Playing God?

Tarris Rosell, DMin, PhD
Rosemary Flanigan Chair

An email discussion arose recently on a hospital ethics case in which a patient’s family accused medical providers of "playing God" because they wanted to end what physicians deemed “futile” treatment. One discussant asked: “What constitutes ‘playing God’? It seems to me that if God wanted someone to live, there would be very little we could do to stop him. The same is true of dying. Obviously some people think differently.”

The tenor of several respondents seemed to be that this likely isn't a logical or even theological statement on the part of the family, but emotive reaction to impending loss and grief. If one responds with logic or theology or philosophy, we really ARE engaged in futility. The conversation goes nowhere. Or probably so. So mostly listen then, empathize, care. (And don't engage in futile acts. Another discussion thread perhaps.)

But why bring up "God" at all then? Surely a person who uses that terminology ("playing God") means SOMEthing by it other than as a synonym for "Do everything, Doc!" Is it merely a convenient invective against providers by an angry and distrustful family?


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Medicare Coverage for Advance Care Planning

Medical Futility Blog
November 3, 2010

Our friend Thaddeus Pope passes this along from his Medical Futility blog. It's a brief report from Charlie Sabatino, JD, regarding Medicare coverage for advance care planning. For more click here.

From Charlie's report: "You'll recall that a legislative provision to offer voluntary ACP every 5 years was dropped from the healthcare reform bill because of hysteria over government encouraged euthanasia. This approach to the annual wellness exam restores some sanity to the picture."

PS: Charlie will be in Kansas City November 13 for the Legacy of Nancy Cruzan Conference. For more visit www.practicalbioethics.org.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Do we need to round on J.B. today?

Rosemary Flanigan, PhD

Since I've decided to keep my two ethics brown bag sessions each month, I'm always looking for material--and today's session is using the case in the recent Hastings Center REPORT, that of a 32 year old man, shot in the head and abdomen during a robbery he witnessed, and now, several months later, still in the intensive care unit cared for by the trauma team.

He needs a ventilator, nurses to suction his secretions, neurology consultants to assess his status, etc., etc. And lately, members of the trauma team have asked the nurses, "Do we need to round on J.B. today?"

I hope to get the groups to see this as a moral issue--certainly, his case brings with it moral distress not just for the trauma team, but for the nurses, and even for his mother. And I shall ask, "Where does help come from?"

Am I wrong to think that nursing home staff deal with chronic care more ably than hospital staff? What makes the difference? Is this an ethics COMMITTEE issue? (In the case, his attending physician asks for a consult because of what he is hearing and seeing. Is this a futile gesture?)

ALL insights are appreciated. THANKS.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Home of the Future

Michael Dodd
Deborah Hartzler

The home of the future is one that will accomodate our rapidly rising numbers of older Americans. Michael Dodd of Lifewise Renovations and Deborah Hartzler, an occupational therapist, explain the how and the why of that trend in this edition of the Bioethics Channel.

Link to podcast here.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Time is Running Out to Register For ...

The Legacy of Nancy Cruzan:20 years later, are we any better at end of life care?

November 12 and 13
Kansas City, MO

REGISTER NOW by clicking here.



Individuals, $250
Groups of 4 or more, $225
Students, $99
Day Rate, $135

Lodging for the Legacy of Nancy Cruzan Conference is at the Westin Crown Center, 1 Pershing Road in Kansas City, Missouri.The individual room rate for the conference is $139. To reserve your room call toll free 888-627-8538.