Are “culture of health” and “culture of death” mutually exclusive? Ask most refugees from 1930s socialist Europe, and my guess is their answer will not only be “no,” but more likely “the former ushers in the latter.” That is to say, it is difficult to imagine a culture that assigns a value on human beings based upon their health, without questioning what that culture does to human beings who are judged to be “not healthy.” Continue reading
Tag Archives: forgoing treatment
Bernard Shaw — Poster boy for shared decision-making?
How perfect. Bernard Shaw as the spokesman for decision aids for terminally ill patients.
I’m sure the irony was lost on the author of “The Judges Have Spoken: Decision Aid Upgrade Design Challenge Winners Announced” as she opened her story with a quotation from Shaw.
The article announced the winners of a contest sponsored by California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) to develop new tools to coach cancer patients and their families in treatment decisions. Not surprisingly, the shared decision-making tool that won first prize from CHCF coaches the patient toward palliative care. Continue reading
Government-subsidized end-of-life conversations . . . What could possibly go wrong with that?
Thanks to Mark Levin for his plain-language critique last week of the proposed CMS payment codes for (endless) end-of-life conversations. Levin speaks for many elderly, sick and vulnerable patients and their families who are being pressured into “letting go,” and this even without government-paid end-of-life talks.
Thanks, also, to Right Scoop for posting the audio, so that it gets the attention it deserves. Continue reading
Former White House health policy advisor: Get the public on board
In case you missed it, this was Chris Dawe last year, shortly after he left the Obama administration, and before he joined Evolent Health — a consulting company founded by the Advisory Board and the Univ. of Pittsburgh Health Plan “to help health systems move towards providing value-based care.” (Advisory Board, which consults for C-TAC, was founded by David Bradley, now Chairman of Atlantic Media.)
Here Dawe is addressing the Campaign to End Unwanted Medical Treatment (which is in fact a campaign to gin up the public to demand less life-saving treatment. Talk about perverse.) Continue reading
Distinction without a difference? Guidance from the NCBC
Last month the National Catholic Bioethics Center posted an article that was meant to guide Catholic clinicians on what to do when a patient or proxy or government requests treatment that the clinician considers to be morally wrong [“Transfer of Care vs. Referral: A Crucial Moral Distinction”]
The subject is important and timely, and I looked forward to reading the piece, but unfortunately it misses the mark when it comes to issues where withholding/withdrawing treatment and palliative care would be involved. Continue reading