Monday, August 29, 2011

End of Life Status and POLST

Charles Sabatino

Now I Am the One Making the Decision.

That's the title of the 7th Annual Policy Summit sponsored by the Missouri End of Life Coalition on September 29, 2011.

Charles Sabatino, JD, the director of the Commission on Law and Aging at the American Bar Association, is one of the speakers at this event, and he joins Lorell LaBoube on The Bioethics Channel.

Link to podcast here.


Friday, August 26, 2011

AJOB: Immediate Impact

The American Journal of Bioethics has been ranked as the highest impact journal in medical ethics and health policy in 2010 for the fifth consecutive year, with an impact factor more than double that of any other bioethics publication across the last year.

The American Journal of Bioethics has changed all our notions about what kind of impact bioethics can have on public discourse about health,” says Glenn McGee, PhD, the publications’ founder and editor in chief and the John B. Francis Chair at the Center for Practical Bioethics, where AJOB offices are housed.

For the complete news release click here.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Elderly and Public Transportation

By 2015 more than 15.5 million Americans are expected to live in communities where public transportation is poor or nonexistent.

What does that mean and what should we do about it?
This edition of the Bioethics Channel addresses those questions with Tom Gerend, assistant director of transportation at the Mid America Regional Council in Kansas City, MO.

Link to podcast here.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Legal and Ethical? Healthcare Information Exchanges

Jeff Ellis, JD
Glenn McGee, PhD

What do you know about your healthcare information? And how would your understanding change as healthcare reform calls for health information exchanges?

Those are the questions for this edition of The Bioethics Channel. Host Lorell LaBoube talks about the issues with Jeff Ellis, JD of Spencer Fane Britt and Brown in Kansas City, and Glenn McGee, PhD, the John B. Francis Chair at the Center for Practical Bioethics.

Link to podcast here.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Refuse Food. Get Evicted?

Mikaela Conley
ABC News
August 18, 2011

Marshall Kapp, director of the Florida State University Center for Innovative Collaboration in Medicine and Law, said there were several issues the facility likely considered after it learned of the couple's plan to refuse food and water.

Link: Elderly Couple Refuse Food, Water to Die; Get Evicted from Facility


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Standardized Patient

More and more medical institutions are using standardized patients to train future doctors on patient interactions. In this edition of The Bioethics Channel, host Lorell LaBoube visits with an actor who portrays a standardized patient.


-- These Troupers Take Dramatic Turns at the Hospital, Wall Street Journal, August 16
-- Podcast: The Standardized Patient, The Bioethics Channel, August 12


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Ethics of Smoking

A Kansas City doctor suggested to me years ago that the way to save medical costs was to have more smokers. They would simply die before accessing Medicare and Social Security.

Provocative? Yes, but it’s almost amusing how we treat tobacco companies and their consumers. We make it as difficult as possible to promote and use a legal product, then happily accept the taxes generated by sales of said product.

Right or wrong?

Link: Smoking is cost-effective, says report, BBC News


Monday, August 15, 2011

Medical Ethicists as Secular Priests

This from the August 14 post on Health Care Organizational Ethics.


I feel squeamish when I'm introduced as an "ethicist." Since questions about what's the right thing to do come up every day of our lives, we're all "ethicists." Sometimes I make that point. But when I feel the situation requires a "secular priest" I bite my tongue and accept the label.

But there's a serious risk in following that path - we might come to believe the attribution ourself!

For more click here.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Surrogacy Scandal Raises Question about Regulation

Julie Watson
Associated Press
August 11, 2011

Versions of this article were also published online on ABC News and in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Boston Globe, Detroit News, Forbes, Kansas City Star, Los Angeles Times, Oakland Tribune, San Francisco Examiner, and Seattle Times

"Surrogacy is hard to regulate and hard to do responsibly if there are market pressures, and if there are exploitative and predatory legal practices," said Glenn McGee, PhD, John B. Francis Chair at the Center for Practical Bioethics. "There is so much potential for abuse here."

At the same time, he said surrogacy has enriched the lives of countless people yearning to raise a child of their own, and he worries cases like this could stymie efforts to properly regulate it.

Link to story here.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gender Tests: Seeking the Next Ballerina

Eric Burke
FOX 4 News Kansas City
August 10, 2011

New research says a blood test that determines a fetus' sex is incredibly accurate. In some cases, it can be close to perfect. Glenn McGee, PhD, the John B. Francis Chair at the Center for Practical Bioethics, worries it may raise issues that some parents are not ready to handle.

Link to report here.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Bioethics and the Underserved: Culture, Values and Justice

There is much in contemporary health care that is ripe for transformation, including bioethics.

In this 2011 Flanigan Lecture in Kansas City, MO, Dr. Richard Payne of Duke University submits that standard bioethics codified in traditional ethical principles needs to be challenged as too limiting for analyzing and responding to the issues of inadequate health care.

Link to audio here.

Link to Powerpoint here.


Friday, August 5, 2011

From the Archives: Do No Harm

This case study was published in the summer 1996 edition of Bioethics Forum. For a full archive of this publication click here.

To the medical director as physician, the accomplishment represents the true greatness of modern medicine, but to the physician as a medical director, the advancement poses an increasingly frequent conundrum.

The medication costs $400,000 a year and treating this one patient will severely compromise the bottom-line of this small and growing for-profit managed care company.
Money that had originally been budgeted for implementation of a high risk pregnancy outreach program will no longer be available.

Click here for the full case study and let us know what you think by clicking on "Comments."


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Blackwood Open Scores in 2011

$10,000 contribution 15% increase from 2010 event

It was a happy day July 29 at the Center as Joe Landes came carrying a check representing a contribution to Center from the 2011 Blackwood Open. Landes chaired the event for the second year in honor of his friend Jim Blackwood, who died in June 2010.

Myra Christopher, Center president and CEO, accepted the check for $10,000 as Center staff and the Blackwood family looked on. Donna Blackwood, Jim’s wife, has worked and volunteered at the Center for much of its 27 years of existence. Two of the Blackwood daughter’s, Natalie Wetzel and Eden Thorne, attended the check presentation.

For more information about the Blackwood Open visit


A Progress Report on Palliative Care

Karin Porter Williamson, MD
Christian Sinclair, MD
Carol Buller, RN

A progress report on palliative care provided by a trio of medical professionals in the trenches of the Midwest. That's the subject host Lorell LaBoube takes on in this edition of The Bioethics Channel.

Guests include Carol Buller, a geriatric nurse practitioner at Shawnee Mission, Kansas Geriatric Center; Dr. Christian Sinclair, associate medical director at Kansas City, Hospice, and Dr. Karin Porter Williamson, associate professor and medical director for palliative care services at the University of Kansas Hospital.

Link to podcast here.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bridging the Divide: Nursing and Medical Ethics

Nurses face any number of ethical issues at the bedside. Is there a difference between nursing and medical ethics? And how should nurses best address those differences?

In this edition of The Bioethics Channel Lorell LaBoube talks about it with Nelda Godfrey, RN, associate dean for undergraduate programs at the University of Kansas School of Nursing, and Noreen Thompson, RN, clinical nurse specialist at the University of Kansas Hospital.

Link to podcast here.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Top 10 July: Lectures in Bioethics

Monday, August 1, 2011

July Top 10: The Bioethics Channel Podcast

Here is the Top 10 list for The Bioethics Channel in July 2011.


Rationing Just Medical Care
Lawrence Schneiderman, MD

Bioethics: Ripe for Transformation
Richard Payne, MD

What’s Next? The IOM Report on Pain
Myra Christopher

Why do people still suffer at the end of life?
Myra Christopher

The Ethics of Translational Research
Lauren Aaronson, PhD, John Lantos, MD, and Glenn McGee, PhD

Bridging the Divide: Nursing and Medical Ethics
Nelda Godfrey, RN and Noreen Thompson, RN

Palliative Sedation: Not a Panacea
Alexander Kon, MD
A Progress Report on Palliative Care
Karin Porter Williamson, MD; Christian Sinclair, MD; and Carol Buller, RN
The Legacy of Dr. Jack Kevorkian
Myra Christopher
The Race Between Ethics and Science
Glenn McGee, PhD