Tag: physicians

Bioethics News

How to End a Life

A year since assisted suicide became legal, only a small number of physicians are willing to perform the procedure, and their numbers are shrinking. Taking a life is harder than they thought

Source: Bioethics Bulletin by the Berman Institute of Bioethics.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Interview with Arthur Caplan

by Kaitlynd Hiller and Rachel F. Bloom

It is a difficult task to succinctly describe the professional accomplishments of Arthur Caplan, PhD. For the uninitiated, Dr. Caplan is perhaps the most prominent voice in the conversation between bioethicists and the general public, as well as being a prolific writer and academic. He is currently the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics at NYU Langone Medical Center and NYU School of Medicine, having founded the Division of Bioethics there in 2012. Additionally, he co-founded the NYU Sports and Society Program, where he currently serves as Dean, and heads the ethics program for NYU’s Global Institute for Public Health. Prior to joining NYU, he created the Center for Bioethics and Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, serving as the Sidney D. Caplan Professor of Bioethics. Dr. Caplan is a Hastings Center fellow, also holding fellowships at The New York Academy of Medicine, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American College of Legal Medicine. He received the lifetime achievement award of the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities in 2016.

Dr. Caplan’s experience is not at all limited to the academic realm: he has served on numerous advisory counsels at the national and international level, and is an ethics advisor for organizations tackling issues from synthetic biology to world health to compassionate care. Dr. Caplan has been awarded the McGovern Medal of the American Medical Writers Association, the Franklin Award from the City of Philadelphia, the Patricia Price Browne Prize in Biomedical Ethics, the Public Service Award from the National Science Foundation, and the Rare Impact Award from the National Organization for Rare Disorders; he also holds seven honorary degrees.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Medical Students Can Handle the Truth; Their Mentors Should be More Open About It

By Shannon Tapia

Medical School is rough.  Fortunately there is a recent movement to make medical education more humane.  The movement to bring humanity, ethics, and love back into the molding of our future physicians is crucial. Personally, I felt my medical school was on the forefront of this push.  Perhaps it was because we had Jesuit priests for attendings and the hospital’s motto of “We also treat the human spirit” filtered into the treatment of students.  Whether it was something about myself or my medical school, I was fortunate to never experience the depression, competitive urges, burnout and isolation that is so prevalent during American medical school years…

But there is an underlying and hidden truth that is never spoken about, or at least wasn’t to me, in medical school.  As students we are warned how tough medical school is and furthermore how absolutely draining residency is.  When we’re in the thick of either in even the most uplifting programs and schools, we are monitored for burnout, offered services to prevent it, and given support in ways students and residents of the 20th century never were. More frequently now, we are prepared for these harsh realities.  But what we’re not told, ever, is that even if and when we make it through medical school and residency/fellowship to attending physicians we may well find it’s not greener on the other side.  We may still first experience burnout when we’re supposed to be summiting our Everest Mountain of medical training. As many mountain climbers will tell you, often the way down from the peak is just as hard if not harder than the climb up.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Contracting to counter gene patents – a 21st Century solution to access and innovation

By Sarah Ali-Khan and E. Richard Gold As Precision Medicine becomes a reality, molecular tests are an increasingly critical part of patient care. While patients and their physicians would like to maximize access, they have confronted a roadblock in the … Continue reading

Source: Bill of Health, examining the intersection of law and health care, biotech & bioethics.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Nudges in the ICU: When and How Should Intensivists Guide Surrogates’ Decisions?

Coming up next week at the ATS International Conference in Washington, DC: “Nudges in the ICU: When and How Should Intensivists Guide Surrogates’ Decisions?”


This 2-hour session will address the use of behavioral economics and “nudges” in the ICU to guide surrogate decision-making. In particular, it will explore methods for effectively deploying nudges—tools for clinicians to use in the ICU—and an ethical framework within which to do so that adequately balances autonomy and paternal beneficence.


At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:

  • Discuss principles of behavioral economics (a.k.a. decision psychology) that physicians might employ to ethically and effectively guide end-of-life decision making in the ICU
  • Clarify misconceptions about the meaning and importance of patient autonomy and informed assent among ICU patients lacking decisional capacity
  • Discuss special considerations when deploying behavioral economics with pediatric patients and their parent surrogates

Behavioral Economics, Choice Architecture, and Nudges in the ICU
G.L. Anesi, MD, MBE, Philadelphia, PA


Intensivists’ Use of Informed Assent When Patients Lack Capacity
J.R. Curtis, MD, MPH, Seattle, WA


Default to DNR?
R.D. Stapleton, MD, PhD, Burlington, VT


Integrated ICU Team Communications and the Nursing Perspective
D.K. Costa, PhD, RN, Ann Arbor, MI


The (Ambiguous) Role of Autonomy in Surrogate
Decision-Making
D.B. White, MD, Pittsburgh, PA


Helping Parents with Decisions
M.F. Haward, MD, Bronx, NY

Source: bioethics.net, a blog maintained by the editorial staff of The American Journal of Bioethics.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Nudges in the ICU: When and How Should Intensivists Guide Surrogates’ Decisions?

Coming up next week at the ATS International Conference in Washington, DC: “Nudges in the ICU: When and How Should Intensivists Guide Surrogates’ Decisions?”


This 2-hour session will address the use of behavioral economics and “nudges” in the ICU to guide surrogate decision-making. In particular, it will explore methods for effectively deploying nudges—tools for clinicians to use in the ICU—and an ethical framework within which to do so that adequately balances autonomy and paternal beneficence.


At the conclusion of this session, the participant will be able to:

  • Discuss principles of behavioral economics (a.k.a. decision psychology) that physicians might employ to ethically and effectively guide end-of-life decision making in the ICU
  • Clarify misconceptions about the meaning and importance of patient autonomy and informed assent among ICU patients lacking decisional capacity
  • Discuss special considerations when deploying behavioral economics with pediatric patients and their parent surrogates

Behavioral Economics, Choice Architecture, and Nudges in the ICU
G.L. Anesi, MD, MBE, Philadelphia, PA


Intensivists’ Use of Informed Assent When Patients Lack Capacity
J.R. Curtis, MD, MPH, Seattle, WA


Default to DNR?
R.D. Stapleton, MD, PhD, Burlington, VT


Integrated ICU Team Communications and the Nursing Perspective
D.K. Costa, PhD, RN, Ann Arbor, MI


The (Ambiguous) Role of Autonomy in Surrogate
Decision-Making
D.B. White, MD, Pittsburgh, PA


Helping Parents with Decisions
M.F. Haward, MD, Bronx, NY

Source: bioethics.net, a blog maintained by the editorial staff of The American Journal of Bioethics.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Minnesota – Best Place to Practice Medicine

Medscape has just ranked Minnesota the best state to practice medicine.  Minnesota is the 2nd happiest, 4th most family friendly, and 5th most livable.

For physicians, the report cites the 4th healthiest population, 2nd highest rate of employer i…

Source: bioethics.net, a blog maintained by the editorial staff of The American Journal of Bioethics.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Minnesota – Best Place to Practice Medicine

Medscape has just ranked Minnesota the best state to practice medicine.  Minnesota is the 2nd happiest, 4th most family friendly, and 5th most livable.


For physicians, the report cites the 4th healthiest population, 2nd highest rate of employer insurance, 17th lowest rate of malpractice, 3rd least harsh medical board, and 3rd highest in PA-NP teamwork.

Source: bioethics.net, a blog maintained by the editorial staff of The American Journal of Bioethics.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Hastings Center – “The Last Stage of Life”

The Hastings Center has started a new project – 
 “The Last Stage of Life.”


People are living longer, but with more years of chronic illness and frailty. Many lack the financial, community, or health care resources they need to secure their own well-being, and often die in isolation or with family caregivers who themselves have become ill from the stress of their caregiving burdens. 


With support from the Robert Wilson Charitable Trust and with additional funds from Hastings’s endowment, the Hastings Center has begun a two-year planning process to determine how best the field of bioethics can meet the new and complex needs of our aging society and of aging people and their caregivers.  


As a first step, the Center recently brought together a wide variety of experts from numerous disciplines and societal sectors – including health policy experts, demographers, architects, philosophers, gerontologists, physicians, nurses, urban planners, and grant makers concerned with aging and end-of-life care. The meeting focused on defining a social ethics approach to this challenge and began identifying the values that should guide structures and policies to promote good and prevent harms and injustices to aging people and their caregivers. Among the questions explored were:

  • What is the epidemiology of population aging in the United States?
  • How well do our current structures and policies respond to age-related illness and frailty?
  • What is human flourishing in the face of frailty?
  • How can we understand and articulate what makes for a good life for people living with age-related illness and frailty, especially those with limited resources?

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Hastings Center – “The Last Stage of Life”

The Hastings Center has started a new project – 
 “The Last Stage of Life.”


People are living longer, but with more years of chronic illness and frailty. Many lack the financial, community, or health care resources they need to secure their own well-being, and often die in isolation or with family caregivers who themselves have become ill from the stress of their caregiving burdens. 


With support from the Robert Wilson Charitable Trust and with additional funds from Hastings’s endowment, the Hastings Center has begun a two-year planning process to determine how best the field of bioethics can meet the new and complex needs of our aging society and of aging people and their caregivers.  


As a first step, the Center recently brought together a wide variety of experts from numerous disciplines and societal sectors – including health policy experts, demographers, architects, philosophers, gerontologists, physicians, nurses, urban planners, and grant makers concerned with aging and end-of-life care. The meeting focused on defining a social ethics approach to this challenge and began identifying the values that should guide structures and policies to promote good and prevent harms and injustices to aging people and their caregivers. Among the questions explored were:

  • What is the epidemiology of population aging in the United States?
  • How well do our current structures and policies respond to age-related illness and frailty?
  • What is human flourishing in the face of frailty?
  • How can we understand and articulate what makes for a good life for people living with age-related illness and frailty, especially those with limited resources?

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.