End of Life

Clinical Ethics Dilemmas: Capitulation to a Patient’s Demands

Should a patient and family be allowed to demand continued medical or surgical care when the physicians believe that the patient will not benefit from further attempts at curative therapy?

Podcast Episode: 
172

Commentary: Six Years Later and Katrina Still Engenders Bioethical Debate

During August 2005, the Gulf Coast experienced the most expensive natural disaster in history. The remarkable devastation would be painfully remembered simply as Hurricane Katrina. Amidst the hue and cry of lives lost, levees that failed—and alleged FEMA incompetence—Hurricane Katrina’s darkest moments, especially for medicine, continue to reverberate. It must never be forgotten that after the initial shock from the powerful storm had dissipated, forty-five corpses were retrieved from one New Orleans hospital under suspicious circumstances.[1] A subsequent article reporting the events was trenchant enough to receive a Pulitzer Prize.[2] At the time, it was alleged that some of these forty-five individuals were injected with sedatives such as morphine to relieve either their suffering or to deliberately hasten their deaths.[3] Therein lays the rub of the principle of double effect. The Louisiana Attorney General and prominent forensic scientists labeled what happened homicide.[4] The local coroner later testified in agreement with this claim and provided evidence of the drug levels to demonstrate what should have been a lethal cause and effect. Also critical to the ensuing debate, several of these persons whose death may have been hastened did not have a Do Not Resuscitate order. There was no evidence that any of the individuals consented to assisted suicide. One case study may provide insight.[5]

Podcast Episode: 
165

End-of-Life Care in the Long-Term Cancer Survivor

How should the family and the medical team proceed with medical care when there is conflict over treatment options in a long-term cancer survivor in the absence of clear surrogacy?

Podcast Episode: 
158

Taking Another Stab: Rethinking the Killing vs. Letting Die Distinction for the Euthanasia Debate

Some bioethicists think that if the distinction is not maintained in and of itself and by itself that it opens the door for the moral permissibility of physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. The presenter argues that this is not necessarily the case. Furthermore, he maintains that there is and ought to remain a strong prima facie prohibition against killing, and that these claims are consistent with an evangelical approach to Christian theology. 

Podcast Episode: 
156

Enhanced Dying: Exploring the Dangers of Palliative Care Moving Beyond Therapy

his presentation will address how changing definitions of death, institutionalization of death, dualistic anthropology, and this new responsibility of medicine can encourage care beyond therapy to intentional sedation and assisted death. Corrected definitions and processes will be offered that will encourage responsible care of patients without violating accepted ethical standards.

Podcast Episode: 
155

Euthanasia and Palliative Medicine (Part 2)

Issues: 

This lecture originally was delivered at a combined institute session during CBHD’s 2009 annual summer conference events, Global Bioethics: Emerging Challenges Facing Human Dignity. For more information on this summer’s upcoming CBHD annual conference events, please visit our website at www.cbhd.org/conference.

Podcast Episode: 
138

Euthanasia and Palliative Medicine (Part 1)

Issues: 

This lecture originally was delivered at a combined institute session during CBHD’s 2009 annual summer conference events, Global Bioethics: Emerging Challenges Facing Human Dignity. For more information on this summer’s upcoming CBHD annual conference events, please visit our website at www.cbhd.org/conference.

Podcast Episode: 
137

Continuing "Futile" ICU Support at Relative's Insistence

Must we continue "futile" ICU support for this dying man at the insistence of his son?

Podcast Episode: 
132

Discerning Palliative Sedation from Euthanasia: What’s at Stake for Human Dignity

The last presidential election saw Washington become the second state to legalize physician-assisted suicide (PAS).  Pressure will increase for other states to follow suit so that those who are terminally ill can exercise the full scope of their “autonomy” and “die with dignity” through PAS if they so choose. Many concerned persons see trends toward legalizing PAS and the broad acceptance of euthanasia as not upholding the inherent dignity of human persons as is often claimed, but actually undermining it. 

Podcast Episode: 
129

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