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Hastings Center Report

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074589/on-patient-well-being-and-professional-authority
#1
Mildred Z Solomon
Two papers in this issue address the limits of surrogates' authority when making life-and-death decisions for dying family members or friends. Using palliative sedation as an example, Jeffrey Berger offers a conceptual argument for bounding surrogate authority. Since freedom from pain is an essential interest, when imminently dying, cognitively incapacitated patients are in duress and their symptoms are not manageable in any other way, clinicians should be free to offer palliative sedation without surrogate consent, although assent should be sought and every effort made to work with surrogates as harmoniously as possible...
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074588/care-under-the-influence
#2
Joseph J Fins, Samantha F Knowlton
A forty-year-old man is brought to the emergency room by his wife at five in the morning, two hours after he fell down the stairs at home, hitting his head and injuring his arm. He tells the ER physician that he got up to get a drink of water and tripped in the dark. His speech is slurred, and he smells strongly of alcohol. Lab results reveal elevated liver enzymes, and his blood alcohol level is 0.1. His medical history is unremarkable. When asked about his alcohol consumption, he says he usually has one or two drinks a night with dinner but that he drinks more on holidays and special occasions...
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074587/after-the-dnr-surrogates-who-persist-in-requesting-cardiopulmonary-resuscitation
#3
Ellen M Robinson, Wendy Cadge, Angelika A Zollfrank, M Cornelia Cremens, Andrew M Courtwright
Some health care organizations allow physicians to withhold cardiopulmonary resuscitation from a patient, despite patient or surrogate requests that it be provided, when they believe it will be more harmful than beneficial. Such cases usually involve patients with terminal diagnoses whose medical teams argue that aggressive treatments are medically inappropriate or likely to be harmful. Although there is state-to-state variability and a considerable judicial gray area about the conditions and mechanisms for refusals to perform CPR, medical teams typically follow a set of clearly defined procedures for these decisions...
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074586/the-theory-and-practice-of-surrogate-decision-making
#4
David Wendler
When a patient lacks decision-making capacity and has not left a clear advance directive, there is now widespread agreement that patient-designated and next-of-kin surrogates should implement substituted judgment within a process of shared decision-making. Specifically, after discussing the "best scientific evidence available, as well as the patient's values, goals, and preferences" with the patient's clinicians, the patient-designated or next-of-kin surrogate should attempt to determine what decision the patient would have made in the circumstances...
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074585/a-good-death
#5
Tia Powell, Adira Hulkower
A good death is hard to find. Family members tell us that loved ones die in the wrong place-the hospital-and do not receive high-quality care at the end of life. This issue of the Hastings Center Report offers two articles from authors who strive to provide good end-of-life care and to prevent needless suffering. We agree with their goals, but we have substantial reservations about the approaches they recommend. Respect for the decisions of patients and their surrogates is a relatively new and still vulnerable aspect of medical care...
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074584/the-limits-of-surrogates-moral-authority-and-physician-professionalism-can-the-paradigm-of-palliative-sedation-be-instructive
#6
Jeffrey T Berger
With narrow exception, physicians' treatment of incapacitated patients requires the consent of health surrogates. Although the decision-making authority of surrogates is appropriately broad, their moral authority is not without limits. Discerning these bounds is particularly germane to ethically complex treatments and has important implications for the welfare of patients, for the professional integrity of clinicians, and, in fact, for the welfare of surrogates. Palliative sedation is one such complex treatment; as such, it provides a valuable model for analyzing the scope of surrogates' moral authority...
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074583/show-code
#7
Daniel Shalev
"Let's get one thing straight: there is no such thing as a show code," my attending asserted, pausing for effect. "You either try to resuscitate, or you don't. None of this halfway junk." He spoke so loudly that the two off-service consultants huddled at computers at the end of the unit looked up… We did four rounds of compressions and pushed epinephrine twice. It was not a long code. We did good, strong compressions and coded this man in earnest until the end. Toward the final round, though, as I stepped up to do compressions, my attending looked at me in a deep way...
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074582/contributors
#8
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074581/conflating-capacity-authority-why-we-re-asking-the-wrong-question-in-the-adolescent-decision-making-debate
#9
Erica K Salter
Whether adolescents should be allowed to make their own medical decisions has been a topic of discussion in bioethics for at least two decades now. Are adolescents sufficiently capacitated to make their own medical decisions? Is the mature-minor doctrine, an uncommon legal exception to the rule of parental decision-making authority, something we should expand or eliminate? Bioethicists have dealt with the curious liminality of adolescents-their being neither children nor adults-in a variety of ways. However, recently there has been a trend to rely heavily, and often exclusively, on emerging neuroscientific and psychological data to answer these questions...
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074580/employer-wellness-programs-challenged-in-court
#10
Mark A Rothstein
Many employers faced with rising health care costs have adopted "voluntary" wellness programs that urge employees to engage in various health-promotion activities, such as smoking cessation and weight reduction. In the proper setting, measures to promote a more healthful lifestyle are difficult to question, but there is little compelling evidence that workplace wellness programs have significant, sustained health benefits or substantially reduce health care costs other than through cost-shifting to unhealthy employees...
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074579/bioethics-in-the-law
#11
Zachary E Shapiro
The role of law in bioethics is clear. Laws are enforcement tools: they govern which conditions qualify an individual for disability benefits, or what oversight is necessary for clinical trial protocols, or how patent applications for medical devices should be regulated. I initially studied the law in order to enhance my work in bioethics, but in examining how the law works, I have become convinced that the converse opportunity also exists: there are many areas of law that would benefit from greater input from those in the bioethics community...
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074578/managing-conflicts-between-physicians-and-surrogates
#12
Carol Bayley
Two articles in this issue of the Hastings Center Report explore two sides of the same problematic coin. In "The Limits of Surrogates' Moral Authority and Physician Professionalism," Jeffrey Berger discusses the moral problem of a surrogate refusing a treatment, palliative sedation, on behalf of a patient whose suffering is refractory to intensive palliative efforts provided by a multidisciplinary team. In "After the DNR: Surrogates Who Persist in Requesting Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation," Ellen Robinson and her colleagues analyze data from a study of cases in which physicians wished not to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation on patients whom they thought it would harm...
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074577/permanent-patients-hospital-discharge-planning-meets-housing-insecurity
#13
Jennifer L Herbst
Not all hospital inpatients need the level of care (including staffing, testing, monitoring, and treatment) uniquely available in the acute-care setting. In the United States, these longer-term, nonacute inpatients tend to be some combination of chronically ill, poor, homeless, undocumented, uninsured, and disabled-all groups who have struggled for health equity, political recognition, and voice. Even so, these "permanent patients" continue to receive care in one of the most expensive settings. This phenomenon is the result of federal legislation that creates an affirmative duty to care for all able to access our emergency departments without also making safe housing available to all...
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074576/decisions-and-authority
#14
Gregory E Kaebnick
This issue of the Hastings Center Report (January-February 2017) features three articles exploring aspects of decision-making for others. In the first two, the focus is on the limits of surrogate decision-makers' authority when the surrogates' judgments about a patient's treatment conflict with the physicians'. If a physician decides that a patient will not benefit from CPR, for example, but the patient's surrogate insists on it, is the physician obliged to proceed with the procedure? Or can the physician, pointing to a duty to provide good care to the patient and not to cause the patient to suffer, get a do-not-resuscitate order for the patient-even in the face of the surrogate's objections? These are the questions that animate the first article, in which a group of authors report on a policy implemented at Massachusetts General Hospital to help doctors who face this dilemma...
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/28074575/the-aca-from-behind-the-veil-of-ignorance
#15
Susan Dentzer
John Rawls posited that we could determine the nature of justice if we imagined ourselves observing conditions in society from behind a hypothetical "veil of ignorance." Not knowing how or where we would end up-rich, poor, empowered, disabled-we would choose governing principles that did not leave one disadvantaged because of his or her circumstances. Rawls's concepts are implicitly embedded in the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees that vastly more Americans can obtain health insurance. The law effectively closed down the de facto lottery that awarded coverage to most but left out millions of others...
January 2017: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27875651/religious-hospitals-and-patient-choice
#16
Nadia N Sawicki
Recent media reports have drawn widespread attention to the experiences of patients who are denied reproductive services at Catholic hospitals. For some patients, such as those experiencing miscarriage, denial of appropriate treatment can lead to serious health consequences. However, many patients are unaware of the limitations on services available at religiously affiliated health care institutions. As a result, patients' ability to make informed and autonomous decisions about where to seek treatment is hindered...
November 2016: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27875650/military-genitourinary-trauma-policies-implications-and-ethics
#17
Wendy K Dean, Arthur L Caplan, Brendan Parent
The men and women who serve in the armed forces, in the words of Major General Joseph Caravalho, "sign a blank check, co-signed by their families, payable to the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines, up to and including their lives." It is human nature to consider such a pact in polarized terms; the pact concludes in either a celebratory homecoming or funereal mourning. But in reality, surviving catastrophic injury may incur the greatest debt. The small but real possibility of losing the ability to bear biological children due to genitourinary combat injury has been a topic of discussion in hushed tones, behind closed doors...
November 2016: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27875649/competence-in-plain-english
#18
Tom Tomlinson
Like many other bioethicists, I often give talks on clinical topics that may touch on the patient's right of autonomy with regard to medical treatment and, from there, may move to questions about whether said patient has the capacity to exercise said right. When I get to that subject, I might ask, "Is this person competent to refuse treatment?" A stunned silence falls over the room, until finally a hand shoots up. "'Competent' is a legal term," I am instructed. "Don't you mean to ask whether he has the capacity to make decisions for himself?" The tone suggests that I'm being helped to make a very important distinction...
November 2016: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27875648/manuscript-reviewers-2016
#19
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
November 2016: Hastings Center Report
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/27875647/what-pacemakers-can-teach-us-about-the-ethics-of-maintaining-artificial-organs
#20
Katrina Hutchison, Robert Sparrow
One day soon it may be possible to replace a failing heart, liver, or kidney with a long-lasting mechanical replacement or perhaps even with a 3-D printed version based on the patient's own tissue. Such artificial organs could make transplant waiting lists and immunosuppression a thing of the past. Supposing that this happens, what will the ongoing care of people with these implants involve? In particular, how will the need to maintain the functioning of artificial organs over an extended period affect patients and their doctors and the responsibilities of those who manufacture such devices? Drawing on lessons from the history of the cardiac pacemaker, this article offers an initial survey of the ethical issues posed by the need to maintain and service artificial organs...
November 2016: Hastings Center Report
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